Today, there are several accessible tech tools to help anyone looking to improve their vocabulary. We use Google for research, copywriting services to handle professional writing, and AI-powered writing assistants like Grammarly to proofread.
Undoubtedly, reading essays and academic paper samples written by expert writers can help you grow your vocabulary significantly. That is exactly why students often use essayservice.com, a professional essay and paper writing service, to get those samples.
But there is a subtle influencer of our vocabulary that hardly ever gets the recognition it deserves — texting.
Yes, typing on your smartphone is more than a necessary way to communicate. It is also a convenient and repetitive way to improve our vocabulary or sacrifice our brain cells depending on our texting practices.
A Brief History of Texting
Long before everybody had a mobile phone, Friedhelm Hillebrand birthed the idea of texting in his home in 1984. A few years later, Neil Papworth sent the first text to Richard Jarvis in 1992, and the rest is, well, our reality.
The gateway for the introduction of text messages was billing alerts and mail messages. Before now, several GSM phones did not support the text feature; there was no room for letters and buttons on the phones. Eventually, Nokia’s 9000 communicators began supporting SMS.
In 1995, the average American sent about 0.4 text messages every month. These numbers show us that the practice took a while to get going.
At first, people did not accept the idea of texting. But networks and phones upgraded and embraced the texting feature, increasing its applications. Ten years later, we had started sending over 35 texts monthly.
Before predictive text and Swype engines came into play, all we had was the multi-tap way of texting. This method assigned about three or four letters to every numeric key on the phone. For example, the number 2 also controls the letters A, B, and C.
Then there was the T9 style of texting. In this approach, you only had to tap numeric buttons once for the tech to predict the possible words you could be trying to type.
The year 2011 came with a texting breakthrough – Swype or true predictive typing. With this addition, people only had to swipe across keys on their phone screens to write words.
This tech and the virtual keyboard can predict, correct spelling errors, and help you learn new words, making social interactions online breezy. It’s no wonder that many people still type with the aid of this Swype technology in 2021.
3 Ways Texting Impacts Speech and Reading
As we type on our phones, our brains pick up our texting habits, diction, and spelling (in)accuracies. Eventually, these texting patterns influence our speech and reading skills.
Here are the ways texting impacts our vocabulary.
Texting Helps Us Differentiate Formal and Informal Speech
“Textese” is the language of texting. With this language, we can distinguish between formal and informal write-ups. Since we often text casually, we can recognize texts that don’t conform with our style and deduce that they are more precise forms of writing.
Texting ensures that we are more thoughtful about putting pen to paper while staying concise without sacrificing value.
Texting Helps Our Phonetics
There is a positive relationship between literacy and texting. With texting, individuals pronounce words in their transcribed state — for instance, spelling “wait” as “w8.” So while texting boosts our reading abilities and phonological awareness, if we use text-to-speech engines (TTS), we will also learn to pronounce words.
Texting Promotes Wordplay
We recommend that you become more adventurous with your diction and use of grammar. Remember, texting is also a pattern of writing. And since we often craft wordplays and clever pieces of writing in our casual texts, the practice benefits our vocabulary. Besides, after social platforms limited the characters we can type, we’ve gotten more efficient with words.
6 Ways Texting Affects Writing
It Hampers Communication
Texting is convenient — maybe too convenient that it has begun to ruin our writing skills. While AI and other engines can help us correct grammatical errors while typing, some prefer writing in digital shorthand.
Nowadays, people use acronyms willy-nilly; TTYL has replaced ‘Talk to you later.’ If you’re not familiar with these changes, you can miss vital information in a text.
Texting Does Not Convey Tone
Texting — even with emojis — can reflect a tone that the writer does not intend to give off. But since many texters assume that emojis convey their mood, they don’t bother using words that add tone to their writing. They no longer need to explain their feelings or narrate experiences in cohesive sentences, leaving plenty of room for misinterpretation.
It Can Encourage Wrong Spellings
Texting gives people an escape from typing words in full, like saying “cuz” instead of “because.” But this informal writing style also poses a big issue when used over time as we can forget the correct way to spell words.
Texting Can Limit the Use of Punctuations
While texting, we don’t bother punctuating or indicating thought distinctions. After a while, we forget to use punctuations, especially with less-used ones like semicolons and oxford commas. Eventually, our writing skills deteriorate. And since we text daily, we can get stuck in this habit, often carrying it into professional writing.
Texting Is Risky to Indigenous Languages
While our texting habits can positively impact spoken grammar, our writing skills suffer. These adverse effects are evident when we write in indigenous languages, as we don’t know where to use diacritics or how to spell some local words. Over time, new generations never learn how to write their native languages, leading to the death of those languages.
It Promotes Better Note-Taking
We’ve discussed many adverse effects of texting on writing, so let’s end on a less dreary note. Texting is an essential skill for people who need to take notes quickly. When taking minutes in a meeting, spelling every word in full may slow you down.
In such a situation, writing in modern shorthand can increase your speed and concentration. It will help you understand the lecture or meeting without missing important notes in your writing.
There have been several arguments debating whether texting is good or not. Many scholars argue that it hampers grammar and language development, while others maintain that it helps kick-start brilliant thoughts. However we look at it, texting is convenient, which can either be good or bad depending on our writing habits and preferences.