I really just linked to this for the great headline.
Teenagers may be widely characterized as the most prominent abusers of “IM speak,” but it turns out that they don’t use it as much as we think—and it’s not hurting their language skills either.
I’m curious to see if IM-/SMS-speak has really just been a temporary result of limited technology. I tried typing a text message on a regular (non-“smart”) phone, and it took me a half hour because I used proper grammer. Misspellings and abbreviations are required for timely communication on dumbphones.
But on the iPhone, misspelling or abbreviating a word often takes more time and effort than writing it correctly. Once they’re more commonplace (and they will be), we’ll see a huge reduction in SMS-speak. The English language has far more to fear from our awful education standards than SMS.
As another example, technology limits me from expressing detailed facial expressions in plaintext media, so I’m stuck with :) and :(. That’s not going to stop me from using other facial expressions in real life.