Is texting and social media making communication too informal? How to know when punctuation and grammar really matter.

How many of you text every day? Update your Facebook status? Tweet?  How often do you actually stop and think about using correct punctuation and grammar? Do you make sure that you are using the correct form of there, their, and they’re? Most often we do not think about using punctuation and grammar that we would in an English paper when we are texting friends or on Facebook and Twitter. We have unconsciously started to become too informal because of new technology that has been introduced to the world.

How do we know when punctuation and grammar really matter? Hopefully, we all know that it matters in the workplace.  As professionals, grammar and punctuation can represent how educated or uneducated a person is based on the use of language and sentence structure.  Receiving emails that do not contain the proper form of it’s or its, you’re and your, effect and affect, can be very embarrassing for the sender of the email.  It’s important to know how to use the correct form of a word because Word does not always catch these mistakes. It is crucial to make sure that in the business world we continue to use the correct punctuation and grammar because if not it could prevent us from being looked at for a promotion or being the lead on an important project. Knowing when to use those commas and colons is important!

Facebook, Twitter, and texting do not help matters when it comes to punctuation and grammar that matter. Social media sites and cell phones have made people lazy when it comes to using proper English, commas, periods, and correct use of verbs. Most often we do not even take the time type out complete words let alone worry about our punctuation and grammar. Even though typing “ttyl” for talk to you later at the end of a text message may be appropriate, ending an email with “ttyl” is not at all. This is too informal and some people depending on what generation they belong to may not even know what the acronym means at all. Even as a college student keeping up with the internet language can be tough. The informal writing habits that Facebook, Twitter, and texting have created are almost absurd because it does carry over into English class and other aspects of life where the informality is inappropriate.

A major concern is with those children who have been born and raised in the socially media savvy world of today. These children even before they enter into formal education have already been programed to the informal use of language due to all the technological devices that are out there. They see and hear this informal language and by the time they reach school age they have already been trained to see the discipline of proper English as outdated and tedious. However, what they are failing to realize is that they are being set up for failure. These students need to be able to speak and communicate in complete and coherent sentences to be able to get their points across in an educated manner. Without the instruction and use of proper English we will have a world where people can rarely compose a proper proposal or letter to effectively convey their ideas or desires.

Being aware that we do unconsciously use more informal writing habits because of social media and texting may be half the battle. Knowing and passing on the importance of proper grammar and punctuation to the younger generations, may help sustain the importance this type of English has in the global world and hopefully will help us remember to use correct forms of communication.

By: Ashleigh Shouse IUPUC Business Major

1 Comment

  1. September 21, 2014 at 10:45 am

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