Are You Dumber Than a Sixth Grader?

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To answer the question posed in my headline, it would take quite a bit of immersion in texting to plunge below sixth-grade standards, er. reality.

And this is no LOL matter.

A Pennsylvania State University study tested students aged 8 to 12 on their grammar and then surveyed them on their texting habits via cell phones and other devices. No surprise here, but grammar skills deteriorated with text usage among those who responded to the survey.

The study was conducted by the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University and published in New Media & Society.

"They may use a homophone, such as 'gr8' for great, or an initial, like, 'LOL' for laugh out loud," said Drew Cingel, a former undergraduate student in communications at Penn State and currently a doctoral candidate in media at Northwestern University who was involved in the study.

"An example of an omission that tweens use when texting is spelling the word would, w-u-d."

The use of these shortcuts may hinder a child's ability to switch between techspeak and the normal rules of grammar, Cingel said in a Penn State release.

Now, wud you believe that?

Categories: Grammar Notes

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