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Online Instant Messenger's Be Warned: Your English is in Danger
[May 21, 2007]

Online Instant Messenger's Be Warned: Your English is in Danger

TMCnet Assistant Editor
In today's 'connected' world, where quick communications have become possible thanks to Instant Messaging, its not difficult to begin seeing things like abbreviations, all lower case letters and other IM-speak style, creeping its way into class rooms, and business writing.

For teenagers today, who are very much a part of the 'connected' world and spend lots of time chatting with friends online, a negative effect has been seen in the way they're unable to utilize the English language when it is necessary.  
Some have even gone as far as to say the hours spent IM'ing online is destroying the English language. And since these teens are chatting for a combined three million hours each day, there's no wonder, this has been noticed.
Not only does this come as a warning to today's teenage IM'er, but business people are also being warned that their utilization of these quick abbreviations and non- proper English in their written communications has the potential to damage their credibility.
Things like abbreviations and not using capitalization or punctuation properly are common in online Instant Messaging communications and have found their way into the classroom, where teachers have taken notice.
"Teachers bemoan the inferior English writing of their middle and high school students. Abbreviations make no sense, punctuation is vanishing, and capitalization at the beginning of sentences is forgotten," a news release noted.
To help aid with this, one company, WhiteSmoke, is announcing their WhiteSmoke Writing Software, which offers the kind of proofreading needed for today's IM-style-writers. The English grammar & writing software offers users a quick, one-click way to check punctuation, spelling and grammar-- so IM-speak remains separate from times when proper English is necessary.
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.
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