Magazine article USA TODAY

Texting, Testing Destroys Kids' Writing Style

Magazine article USA TODAY

Texting, Testing Destroys Kids' Writing Style

Article excerpt

Somewhere out there is the mind that will produce the next great American novel. If, however, that would-be author is under the age of 18, the words he or she writes may be more of "TGGTG" and "SOZ" than beautiful, flowing prose, as a National Center for Education Statistics study reports that only one out of four high school seniors is a proficient writer. Meanwhile, a College Board survey of the nation's blue-chip companies found that a mere two-thirds of their employees are capable writers.

"We have a whole generation being raised without communication skills," says former teacher Jacquie Ream, author of K.I.S.S.: Keep It Short and Simple. She contends text messaging and the Internet are destroying the way our kids read, think, and write. "These kids aren't learning to spell. They're learning acronyms and shorthand. Text messaging is destroying the written word. Students aren't writing letters; they're typing into their cell phones one line at a time. Feelings aren't communicated with words when you're texting; emotions are sideways smiley faces. …

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