My Photo
Location: United States

Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Friday, April 25, 2008

NEW YORK — It's nothing to LOL about: Despite best efforts to keep school writing assignments formal, two-thirds of teens admit in a survey that emoticons and other informal styles have crept in.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a study released Thursday, also found that teens who keep blogs or use social-networking sites like Facebook or News Corp.'s MySpace have a greater tendency to slip nonstandard elements into assignments.

The results may give parents, teachers and others a big :( — a frown to the rest of us — though the study's authors see hope.

"It's a teachable moment," said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew. "If you find that in a child's or student's writing, that's an opportunity to address the differences between formal and informal writing. They learn to make the distinction ... just as they learn not to use slang terms in formal writing."

Half of the teens surveyed say they sometimes fail to use proper capitalization and punctuation in assignments, while 38 percent have carried over the shortcuts typical in instant messaging or e-mail messages, such as "LOL" for "laughing out loud."

A quarter of teens have used :) and other emoticons.

Overall, 64 percent have used at least one of the informal elements in school.

Teens who consider electronic communications with friends as "writing" are more likely to carry the informal elements into school assignments than those who distinguish the two.

The study was co-sponsored by the National Commission on Writing at the College Board, the nonprofit group that administers the SAT and other placement tests.

The chairman of the commission's advisory board, Richard Sterling, said the rules could possibly change completely within a generation or two: Perhaps the start of sentences would no longer need capitalization, the way the use of commas has decreased over the past few decades.

"Language changes," Sterling said.

Defying conventional wisdom, the study also found that the generation born digital is shunning computer use for most assignments.

About two-thirds of teens say they typically do their school writing by hand. And for personal writing outside school, longhand is even more popular — the preferred form for nearly three-quarters of teens.

That could be because the majority of writing is short — school assignments are on average a paragraph to a page in length, Lenhart said.

Among other findings:

— Teens who keep blogs are more likely to engage in personal writing. They also tend to believe that writing will prove crucial to their eventual success in life.


I have to agree that kids who are blogging and writing on myspace, etc. are at least WRITING! and you can't help but celebrate that.

I have had 5th graders put shortcuts from texting habits into papers and I always explain the difference between formal and informal writing, so yes, a very teachable moment! It made me smile to actually see the "text slang" in the paper. At least I know they are writing outside the classroom, too!

On another note, there is always that communication gap to be aware of. I had a student once come to me in tears with his paper.

He asked me why I "put that" (points to paper) on his work.

I looked at the paper and thought, geesh, kid... you got 101 points, what more do you want? The highest he could have gotten was 105!

But all I said was, because that is the grade you earned.

His little eyebrows wrinkled up as if to say, what are you talking about old lady?!

Suddenly a lightning bolt hit me!

Me: OHHH!!! You think I wrote lol (laugh out loud) but that is actually 101 (one hundred and one) points!!!

He thought I was making fun of his paper!

He was sooo relieved and we both, well,



Blogger Mia Turner said...


8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can't wait for a kid to bust that one out on a homework assignment.

3:28 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home