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Study: Texting Interferes with Language Use, Acquisition

A University of Calgary student says research indicates that texting affects people’s ability to interpret words and accept new vocabulary. Joan Lee, a master’s degree candidate in linguistics, said that people who texted more frequently were less accepting of new words, while study participants who read traditional print media were more accepting of them. “Our assumption about text messaging was that it encourages unconstrained language. But the study found this to be a myth,” Lee stated. "The people who accepted more words did so because they were better able to interpret the meaning of the word or tolerate the word, even if they didn’t recognize [it]. Students who reported texting more rejected more words instead of acknowledging them as possible words.” She contends that those who text hold “rigid linguistic constraints” despite the many unusual spellings found in texting. By contrast, reading books, magazines, and newspapers introduces individuals to variety and creativity in language and also helps them develop skills that let them be more accepting of and able to interpret new or unusual words. (EurekAlert)(“What does txting do 2 language? The influences of exposure to messaging and print media on acceptability constraints,” Joan Lee, University of Calgary.)

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