'Glastonbury festival, cat hat, and the long lived Nokia 3310'

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Results from my Text Lingo quiz.

Thank you to everyone who took part in my quiz which I recently placed in a blog.

The results suggests that people managed to understand the majority of the text lingo, maybe more than I thought they would be able too.

The first phrase to translate was:
23 people out 23 people translated this correctly as Are you ok? 100%

The 2nd phrase was:
Again 23 people translated this one as Laughing My Ass Off. This phrase seems to be very popular on social networking sites so I think this may be why there was a 100% accurate response rate.

The 3rd phrase was:
The correct translation of this phrase is Are you free tonight? 21 people out of 23 got this one correct. The other two answers were 'Are you feeling unwell tonight?' and 'Are you ? tonight?'
I think will this one the 'F' could really stand for anything so I was quite surprised that 21 people still got the same translation as the one I was after/

The 4th phrase was:
22 out of 23 people translated this as 'See you later?' whereas the other participant translated this saying as 'Call you later?' which could always be correct. There is not a correct answer in this case but it is obvious that the majority of public would understand phrase 4 to mean See you later?

The 5th phrase was:
The translation as stated on the lingo2word website is 'Happy Birthday to you' however the majority of participants translated this phrase as 'How about you?' which I can understand. I think that this question proves that txt language can sometime be ambiguous and therefore sometimes hard to understand its true meaning which was intended by the sender.

The 6th phrase was:
This question appeared to me the most difficult as only ten people chose to answer it. However all the participants who did answer it got it correctly translated to 'Just to let you know'. It seems that either you are confident and you know the meaning of the phrase or you are not aware of it at all.

The 7th phrase was:
I feel that this is probably one of the most well known txt speak phrases so I was not surprised when 100% of the participants translated it to mean 'Laugh out Loud.' A couple of participants also stated in their answers that it could also mean 'lots of love'.

The 8th phrase was:
6T, 7T, 8T
There were 16 responses for this question all of which were correctly translated as Sixty, Seventy, Eighty. The other 7 people chose not to respond.

The 9th phrase was:
12 people translated this correctly as 'I'm starving', one people translated it as 'I am fine' and another translated it as 'I'm living'. The other 9 people did not respond. I can understand why some participants found this one difficult.

The 10th phrase was:
18 people translated this to me 'Do you understand?' which is the correct answer. The other 5 people did not respond.

From my results it is clear that there are certain phrases which are more easily understood such as LOL, and there are some which are more ambiguous such as HBTU. 

My main conclusion is that more people understood the phrases than I previously anticipated. 

David Crystal's Work. 'Texts and Tweets: Myths and Realities'.

Earlier this week I was sent a link to a YouTube video by someone on Twitter which is of great interest to my chosen topic of txting. It is a video of a conference which David Crystal did last year all about the myths of txting. I have spent a lot of time this morning making a transcript of his speech. I will copy it below.

He starts by introducing a number of myths about txting such as 'children in schools miss out letters in words because they don't know how to spell' etc but then goes on to prove that all the myths are indeed incorrect.

The video can been see here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boj8VYzDAy8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

“The myth is that this new txt messaging thing, and maybe also this tweeting thing, is full of new fangled abbreviations. Full of them. The basis for that belief was a 2003 hoax essay that was circulated on the internet supposedly written by a student, and presented to their teacher who was unable to understand it. The teacher supposedly was so shocked by the fact this school essay, a piece of homework, was entirely in this abbreviations, it was all about a summer holiday in New York if you may remember the example, that she put it up on the web and everybody was horrified. The tabloids got hold of it, this is the disaster which is expected to happen you see. Everybody believed that this is what students did in school every day and that txt messaging was like this. It was indeed a hoax but the entire thing was treated as if it was veracity by the press.  So the first part of the Myth is that txt messages are full of these abbreviations, moreover they are new fangled abbreviations introduced by the young people of today for one of two reasons. Either because they are deliberately trying to construct a language of obscurity so that adults would not be able to understand them, on the one hand, or from the other hand, they just don’t know how to spell and they are doing it inadvertently, on the other. That leads to the third myth, the new fangled abbreviations are as a result of a generation  that does no longer know how to spell, um that they are leaving letters out because they don’t know they should be there in the first place. This is turn leads to the fourth myth which is the one that the school teacher presented on the web, or the supposed school teacher, that in school kids no longer know the difference between how to spell correctly and how to spell incorrectly so therefore school essays are full of inadvertently places abbreviations, and moreover they are now turning up in exams and examiners everywhere are complaining all over the world that the examination scripts are full of these abbreviations and children are failing their exams everywhere as a result. The consequence of all of this of course is we are rearing the generation of children who have no sense of responsibility for language whatsoever, and if this were a case then it might indeed be that there is a glimmer of truth in what John Humphries actually had to say”

In fact none of those five myths are remotely true, everyone of them is fundamentally false. And we know this now because over the past ten years, and it is just ten years since the first text started to be circulated, a huge amount of research has been done...And the facts are these:
-          Myth one – text messages are full of abbreviations:
o   The truth? No they are not. If you collect a huge pile of texts, you will find that one average only 10% of the words that you put into your collection of text messaging are actually abbreviated. Abbreviations like ‘C’ for ‘see’ and ‘U’ for ‘you’ and ‘l8r’ with the 8 instead of, numeral 8 there. Or words like message -msg or LOL, laughing out loud.  Things of that kind. 10% of the words on average. In actual fact people don’t abbreviate as much as you think they do.  (80% of text messages in cyber space are between adults).

-          Myth two – The abbreviations, cooked up by the youth of today:
o   We are the first generation to see ‘C U L8r?’ Not a bit. Lewis Carole played with this sort of thing and it was a very very popular past time to cook up these rebases they called them for summer evening and winter evening when there was not television, no radio, no internet and what else do you do? You play language games. The Victorian fascination with language games was amazing. From the Royal Family down people played language games. Queen Victoria said things like ‘C U L8R’. So there is nothing new fangled about these abbreviations.

-          Myth three – Kids are leaving out letters in words because they are not there, they cannot spell.
o   Economically more efficient to abbreviate, it can save money in some systems whilst paying for messages.  
o   Main is reason is because it’s cool. It’s fashionable. It’s a cool think to do.
o   The main point is that if it is cool to leave letters out then you have to know that they are there in the first place!
o   IT TURNS OUT THAT THE BEST TXTERS ARE ACTUALLY THE BEST SPELLERS. In order to actually text well you have to be quite literate.

-          Myth four – Kids are so unaware of what they are doing, so irresponsible, that they are putting these things into their school work and into their exams.
o   When David Crystal goes into schools he asks the teachers, “do you see these things in the school work?” and most teachers say “Nope”. They remember the occasional example but are all the kids doing it all the time? They are not.
o   When David Crystal asks the kids themselves, “would you put these abbreviations in your homework?” he says that they look him as if he is nuts.
o   He see a group of young people who know exactly what the difference is between a style of language which has been devised for the use on a mobile phone and the style of language which you need in order to talk efficiently
o   When David Crystal asks examiners “do you see txtisms in examination scripts? The answer is universally no.  The kids don’t do it.

I felt that this transcripts were the key points that David Crystal made. There is a huge mythology about txting out there and it is likely that at some point we have all felt them to be true.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

How easy is it to understand?

I had a brainwave that I could use this blog to see how much txt language the general public understood. There is a link below which will load up a pop up quiz. It will list a selection of txt terminology which I gathered from a website called Lingo to Word. It is your job as the reader to try and translate as many of the phrases as possible. Good luck :-P 

Click here to open the quiz

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How my thoughts stand in the GR8 DEB8 so far...

So to start developing my blog I have spent a bit of time this evening Googling 'the impact txting can have on people's learning'. I have been looking particularly at the impact on the learning and writing skills of school children. 

I came across an interesting poll by 'Edutopia' who asked 'Does text messaging harm students' writing skills?' The results were as followed:

Yes. I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into school assignments. - 54%

Maybe. Although text messaging may have some impact on how students write, I don't think it's a significant problem - 18%

No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate. - 25%

None of the above. - 3%

The poll can be viewed here

I have reflected on how I would vote on this poll and I have actually found it quite hard to decide on a firm answer so I feel I would have to vote for 'None of the above'. 

My reasons for this decision are based on my personal experiences at school. When I was around the age of 15 I would think I was the 'bees knees' if I txted my friends using 'Txt language'. For example I would txt my best friend something along the lines of: 
                'Alrite hun. U k? Wuu2? Ly x'
This would translate as me basically asking how my friend was and what they were up to, before ending it with the abbreviation for 'love you'. This language was completely normal for my friendship group and practically became the cool thing to do! 

However, I would never use this lingo in any of my school text books and I would be aware of this at all times. For me there was almost an unconscious mechanism which was in place and meant that I would not psychically be able to use txt language in any of my work. 
Txt language was for mates (or m8s as my 15 year old self would say) and grammatically correct language was for school. 

You may be wondering why I wouldn't just decide to vote for the 'No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate.' option on the poll, but I can take into account that other students may not be able to keep txt language out of their school work. 

A short article from the BBC gives an example of how a student used txt language within a written exam. The 13 year old student provided the following extract which I can only guess describes their summer holiday:
"My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- kids FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc."
I would take a guess and translate this as 'My summer holidays were ??. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three kid. I love New York, it's a great place.' If anyone feels they can translate this further then please leave a comment!!

Learning and writing skills are very individulised so therefore I can appreciate that txt language has had an significant impact on some student's skills but not so much on other students such as myself. If txt language was not invented as such, then how well would the above student have done in their exam I wonder. 

I hope that as I develop this blog further, I will be able to come to more of a conclusion about what impact txt language can have on learning. I would like to be in a position to say that I would vote for either the YES or NO answer on the poll, instead of not being confident enough to settle for one side of the argument and instead float around in the middle of the debate. 

Watch this space :)

Image source: rosipaw

Losing my Blogging Virginity!

Hello and welcome to my blog.

I am trying this out for the first time so please forgive me for any blogging mistakes.

This blog is based around the subject of 'Txting' and how texting can have an impact on learning.

I hope you enjoy it :)