‘Tween’ Texting Causing Grammar Issues, According To Study


If you think back years ago, even before the initial release of the iPhone, many teens didn’t own a phone. That was just five to six years ago. The smartphone around that time was just beginning to evolve. With the release of the iPhone, the mobile phone market was supercharged in my opinion, and that’s really when companies such as Android began their journey. But with the smartphone, also came hungry tweens and their texting habits.

At first glance, shortcuts are alright and help these teens stay within their 160 character limit, but studies have shown they are beginning to cause issues academically. The problem has only began to worsen now that children ages 10 to 14 are now receiving their own phones. So researchers at Pennsylvania State University decided to study the ongoing problem to prove texting tweens tend to have worse grammar and language skills than others.

According to Drew Cingel, these teens are adapting to the texting language, and forgetting formal language used in school essays and other school-related papers. Some students would write, “wud” within papers instead of, “would,” notes Cingel.

So in order to find the truth behind texting and its effects on grammar, Cingel gave middle school students in a Pennsylvania school district a grammar assessment test. The same students were also asked details of their daily texting habits.

When the results came in, Cingel noted, “Overall there is evidence of a decline in grammar scores based on the number of adaptations in sent text messages.” So in a nutshell, students who swayed more towards texting abbreviations had more issues with their grammar. But on a good note, students weren’t seen having issues adding capitalization or periods to papers.

In my opinion, I found this study very interesting. At times in the past I found myself almost writing, “LOL,” or some other texting lingo within school papers. So have you ever caught yourself using texting lingo within a paper?

[via CBC]


  • Nope. It’s called compartmentalization.These studies are just correlation studies, and not truly scientific since what’s needed is CAUSATION! Just like most people know how to carry themselves differently around different people, same with grammar. They need to learn when “text” grammar is appropriate and when it’s not. It comes down to education, not a decline per se.

  • I don’t even use Tween texting language when I use text messaging. It’s not professional in any way

  • JMCD23

    Agreed. However it would not surprise if the two were correlated at all.

  • JMCD23

    Well typing LOL is an acronym, there is nothing wrong with that IMO. Using short forms for words is just stupid and lazy. The worst one I can think of is someone saying “ne” in the place of “any”.

  • I’m grateful we don’t deal with 1337 speak via texting as much

  • Not that a text message has to be professional. But in the past I seemed to use ‘lol’ a lot more than I would now. Seems like I am the opposite of the study. As I write more, the less shortcuts I tend to use.

  • Happy Guy