Text messaging actually makes you a better speller

Illustration for article titled Text messaging actually makes you a better speller

With the plethora of acronyms and creative spellings available to the modern text messaging user, it seems only logical that knowledge of the actual spellings would be forgotten. And yet, against all odds, text messaging can actually improve spelling abilities.


That's the somewhat counterintuitive finding of University of Central Missouri psychologists D.S. Kreiner and D.L. Davis. NCBI ROFL has the story:

The relationships of self-reported text messaging frequency and knowledge of text message abbreviations with spelling ability were investigated. Two studies were conducted in which the college student participants provided self-reports of text messaging frequency, responded to a test of knowledge of text message abbreviations, and completed a standardized spelling test.

In both studies, self-reported text messaging frequency was not predictive of scores on the spelling test. Knowledge of text message abbreviations was positively correlated with spelling scores. In the second study, spelling ability was positively correlated with processing time to identify abbreviations as real. The results were not consistent with the idea that better knowledge of text messaging is predictive of lower spelling ability. Instead, individuals with better knowledge of abbreviations tended to be better spellers.


So there you have it - modern technology isn't destroying all old knowledge after all. Well, not completely, anyway.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter


James Whitbrook

Some of the statuses I see in my facebook feed beg to differ, to be honest. Considering some of them are old Grammar school friends, it's amazing how bad their spelling and grammar is sometimes!

I'll occasionally use acronyms like 'lol' instead of 'ha ha' (oh god and I think it's terrible when people use it in real life, too! Why say lol rather than, you know, actually laugh!? It's awful!) and such, but when it comes to texting, I always write in full english, none of this 'r u gna b ther? c u l8tr m8!' nonsense that people seem to think saves them time typing. I can type the same sentence just as quickly in full english, and to boot, I don't look like an idiot doing so.