default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

English teachers see texting language in essays

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:26 am, Wed Jun 29, 2011.

We've all done it: Hit "send" on an email to a friend with the word "you" abbreviated to "u" or "meeting" shortened to only the most needed consonants.

But these slang texting phrases common in chat rooms are popping up in formal work being submitted in many schools, including Lodi Unified School District.

"Using text in formal papers or any other traditional academic work is not OK," said Christa McAuliffe Middle School teacher Martha Snider. "I don't know of a teacher who believes otherwise. I, myself, don't even favor it when using social networking sites with students. Former students whom I friend on Facebook also have to honor my policy of 'spell it out.'"

The teacher, who regularly integrates the Internet into her daily lessons, thinks there's an upswing in students using texting lingo.

Lodi High School English teacher Jerry Pike said that every now and then he sees the "u," but more commonly is coming across "I" written as a lower-case letter when referring to something in the first person.

"When I tell my students that "I" isn't written in lower-case, they actually look surprised and say, 'Really?'"

Yuen Ng, a recent Lodi High School graduate, said instructors warned students about using texting slang in formal essays.

"It seems that the problem is significant enough for the teachers to lecture the class as a whole about it," Ng said.

Ng said the most frequently used slang terms in high school writings are "gotta," "u" and "ain't."

Elainee Stokes, who attends Lodi High, said she and her friend were working on a project for science last school year when the other student used "u" instead of "you" and "wat" instead of "what."

"My teacher was proofreading it, and she told us to change it," she said.

Snider said there will come a day when you find "lol" and other abbreviations in traditional "old-school" hard-copy dictionaries. But in the classroom, students should avoid abbreviations all together, she said.

In the end, Lodi High's Pike believes the bigger issue is texting in general.

"So many students spend hours doing it that they are easily distracted from doing things like homework." he said. "They'd rather text than read an assigned book or write an essay."

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Marlene Dunlap posted at 5:16 pm on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    Marlene Dunlap Posts: 1

    That's a big disadvantage to many essay writers. Texting styles in essay writing is a big no-no! They can just get essay help from essaythinker to proofread their works and eventually correct their grammars and spellings including the "text style" writing.

  • Kim Lee posted at 6:10 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Although texting sort of annoys me I have to say that it does allows me to be much more connected to the kids when they are out and about. A quick text from the kids does ease a parent's mind. :-)

  • Kim Lee posted at 6:04 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    With all that said I'd like to add that the kids today are absolutely amazing when it comes to technology. I am so impressed with my kids and what they can do on all of their tech gadgets, including the laptops etc!

  • Kim Lee posted at 6:01 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    It's a shame that kids in middle and high schools are making these mistakes on formal work. They should have been taught all of this a long time ago. Also, I think spellcheck catches these mistakes, so the kids should at least use spellcheck. I have found things coming out of my mouth like, "Ain't isn't a word" just like good ol' mom and dad used to say. Parents need to make sure to be a part of their child's education.

  • Jackson Scott posted at 4:28 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 382

    Texting: death to the English language.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:44 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 1880

    My wife's office has been receiving applications with the submitter using text abbreviation through out. Those are immediately recycled.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:33 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4301

    It is a shame what is happening to the English language. People gripe about immigrants not learning it...Native speakers cannot even master it...and now kids claim ignorance of the capitalization of the personal pronoun "I?"



Popular Stories



Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists