R U Going 2 Rly Read This?

a girl laughing while texting

I remember when I was in elementary school just learning to write. I would sit down at the table with my grandma, and she would look over my English homework.

First, she would tell me how horrible my handwriting was (which is true to form). But she would also share with me the tales of when she was in school and they learned shorthand.

Quick note-taking was eased by this new “alphabet” of lines and squiggles taught to kids to help them write faster.

Well, it is 2015 and we have a new type of shorthand: text talk, the shorthand electronically communicated through abbreviated words and crunched up letters. “Really” turns into “rly” and “thank you” turns into “ty.”

I did not think people still partook in this practice since the 150 character limit was extended on the majority of cell phones, but they do. Pieces of me cringe when I read something, other than a text message, that reads in text talk.

This type of shorthand is acceptable in two types of arenas. First, in an actual text message to a friend. Not to a boss or colleague, but a friend who knows that it’s text talk and you don’t have any pressure in conversation.

Second, in a tweet on Twitter. Now this one comes with some stipulations. The person reading the tweet should be able to read what it says without having to look up what “smh” means.

The appropriateness of text talk needs to be reserved for social realms. Although, even with public social media profiles, future employers could be basing your grammatical competency on the compilation of words in each tweet and Facebook post.

The danger of using abbreviated communication is the possibility of not knowing when it is appropriate. Work emails or class discussion posts should not contain “haha” or “LOL” – they should err on the side of professionalism and competency.

Our goal should be clear and concise communication that doesn’t rely on text talk or shorthand.

Why is communication so important in our everyday lives? Check out our blog category to learn more. Visit Grand Canyon University’s website to learn about a job-focused education.

More about Paige:

Paige Ferrari is a senior at GCU studying Communications and serves in the Spiritual Life department as part of the Global Outreach Team. Although she’s from Southern California, Paige finds herself falling in love with the people, culture and lifestyle of Phoenix, and hopes to permanently move here after graduation. She is a passionate writer, reader and coffee connoisseur; she is always looking for some creative words over a cup of coffee.

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