Author Options:

Question about Grammar Answered

I've noticed a lot lately, people using their internet grammar (not just here), and then defending it when they get criticized for it by saying something along the lines of, "wat r u a teacher?" or, "idc im not n scool rite now." So I have two questions about it, one for our adult members who grew up before the internet, and one for our current youth members.

For the adults:

Did kids tend to use proper grammar outside of school as you were growing up, or did they use the same sort of excuses for poor spelling and grammar? I guess this applies mostly to letters and notes to each other.

For the youth:

Do your peers use the same abbreviations in written communication outside of school as they do online or in text messages? Also, how predominately to you see internet speak used around you, compared to those who use proper grammar and spelling?

Thanks! I look forward to any input you have on the topic.


Some of my friends and I write notes to each other, and we use some internet slang/abbreviations mainly for lulz, but use proper grammar otherwise. Also in normal conversation we may use internet slang for humor, such as saying "lol" (not L-O-L, but pronouncing "lol" phonetically) when something is funny, or "WTF?" None of my friends use abbreviations or internet slang in papers or essays, though. Just your usual they're/their type mistakes.

. We used (and I still do) a lot of improper English (ain't, wrong verb tense, &c;) in oral communications. Didn't use near as many abbreviations and purposeful misspellings when writing, but, as others have mentioned, we weren't usually limited on space. Most abbreviations/acronyms were specific to a clique and used to obfuscate to outsiders. . Any form of communication is OK as long as it is legible to the intended audience, but don't expect me to spend much time trying to decipher leet-speak/&c; or very bad grammar/spelling.

About the same here. Improper grammar in informal situations is pretty standard. Hoverver, lots of acronyms and misspellings in written form are a bit tiresome to me. If the audience gets it, that's fine, but one might lose a large readership (to l33tspeak) when proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar would have kept the attention of most people.

I spell properly in everything really, even texts, which probably means I use a few extra texts now and again but not really a problem to me... I understand text language but hate the way it looks and reads, I know it's handier to write and all that but when I get a text like "soz hav 2 go 2 wrk ttyl" I want to set fire to people, I just like it that way and will stick to real spelling even in my epic essay texts that usually follow arguments...

"Soz," was always the one abbreviation that didn't make sense. Where does the "Z" come from in, "Sorry"?

Soz means sorry... Ugh, my brother sends the worst ones, lets just say dyslexia and text language shouldn't get in bed with each other, the result takes a few minutes to process as you work backwards through the logic, those that don't know him need not apply...

I know what it means...but it just doesn't make sense. The rest of the abbreviations at least have a logical explanation. Acronyms, homonyms, etc. "Soz" is none of the above.

Ugh I don't honestly know, it's just one that appeared over time... One thing that's an issue is words that abbreviate similarly and are left up to guess work... Granted T9's a big enough threat on its own, not that I use it, another problem being that there are variations on text language and people may not understand it, along with the practice of knocking random vowels out of words to abbreviate...

It may be like shortening Barry to Baz, or Chester (or Chadwick) to Chaz. I've heard it used in a few localities, and it's something I just get used to.

I, being a 14-year-old, text alot. I tend to use complete, and whole words when I do so, and not slang or jargon. As for written communication, how exactly do you define that? Letters? Post-its? I think that "internet-speak" is a creative shortcut, when not used in excess. When people "speak" with it excessivly, it is very confusing and hard to understand (Yes, it's not just adults...). Summarily, if it is used unresponsibly I disaprove of it and try to avoid it, (such as in resumes or formal applications), but when used to quicken the pace (such as texting) I think it's "okay".

Oh my god...I didn't think it was possible for me to meet another teenager who thinks the same thing about internet speak...Thank you


8 years ago

Yes my generation uses this alot not just for texting but for almost anything and I see this everyday.


8 years ago

For me, text messages are very different from other media because of the very strict limitation on length. In an email I'll put two spaces after the end of a sentence because I can afford to be reckless with spaces, but in a text I will strip out all unnecessary textual niceties because they are expensive. If the message is still readable, ie replacing

"Do you have to go to the station"


"Do u have 2 go 2 the station"

or whatever, I don't see the problem, but when there are few recognisable english words ("I dn no wat u fort u ws doin") then it starts to get annoying. Replacing "th" with "d" or "f" to save a letter at the expense of making the message unreadable (and the sender sound stupid) isn't really worth it.

Internet slang, on the other hand, I use all the time because it's a surprisingly rich and expressive lexicon that has developed to describe things that happen on the internet more than anywhere else- take a sentence like "Mac fanboys got b***hurt resulting in epic lulz".

Expressions like "full of fail/win/lose" are just the next set of words for "good/bad" that every generation of kids have to have- before that it was awesome and lame, before that rad and bogus, before that groovy and square, before that wizard and rotten...
may not be 100% historically accurate but YKWIM

When speed is important I'll use AFAIK or IIRC or similar contractions in IMs or the chatroom, but try to stick to ones people recognise and avoid niche ones I just made up.

The "text message" language was started when cell phone companies limited texting to 160 characters per message, so kids created the text $p34k to shorten the length of the message.

I won't lie: I love internet slang. I use it all the time around friends, but there's a time and a place to do it. :D

All of my friends are 25-30 and we all use proper grammar in texts and when communicating online, and we text a lot. I have one friends that sometimes sends three page text messages.

And since I guess I'm technically an adult now (that's sort of scary, isn't it?) I'll answer the first question:

Kids have always been creating their own language. I remember writing notes all through school with abbreviations and acronyms. I don't know why we did it, but it always happened. For example:

  • sup
  • NMJC
  • NM
  • BFF
  • becoz
  • whatev

In summary, the 1990s were a scary place, but at least we had the Spice Girls. :D

I try my hardest not to use internet speak when I'm texting or e-mailing Unless it's "lol". It's just kind of a habit actually. Not to mention when I type correctly online I get better at it which makes typing essays for school a lot easier. Most of the people I text/e-mail use at least some abbreviations for things.

Hey, even if you speak with a Brooklyn accent, you still used proper grammar and spelling, unless you were left back in school.

So I see they allow cell-phones in your school. Good luck and try to enjoy the rest of your summer.

So I see they allow cell-phones in your school
Nope, and if they did, I'm the only teenager with a cell phone who doesn't text.
I know shocking. I'm also the only teenager who listens to real rock music, not the jonas bothers

Good luck and try to enjoy the rest of your summer.
You too.

Well, my little brother will say lol, omg, brb and such in real life sometimes. As for my peers, I'd have to say they do type internet in...ummm...internetese, but every single word, or very often.(lol u g0t pwned!)