Texting and social media usage surely impacts our grammar, but how? Will the iPhone’s autocorrect feature excuse us for writing poorly? Or perhaps the 140-character restriction for tweeting will actually help by forcing us to write strategically.
Mignon Fogarty, widely known as Grammar Girl, defends texting and social media in a video on Ragan.com, and explains how both often enhance writing ability.
In the video, Grammar Girl points out that social media provides people with more opportunities to write. This opportunity, however, highlights the good writers as well as the bad. Although social media does not change the way people write, it allows for more visibility.
Parents often worry about the abbreviations their children are using on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Typing “l8” to abbreviate “late” and “u” to mean “you” may be fairly new, but the concept of abbreviating a message dates back quite awhile. IOU’s have been around much longer than any computer, social network or iOS device. The abbreviation, much like those of the digital age, uses the letter “u” in place of the word “you.”
Grammar Girl also mentions the ways in which we begin to use our brains differently to post on social media or to text a friend. Concision is key. No matter the industry, writers often include too many words in their messages. Our phones and the social web begin to train us to consider the most direct way to get the point across.
Public relations relies heavily upon clear, concise messaging. However, writers in all fields can benefit from strategic writing skills. Grammar Girl may have just given bosses everywhere a reason to let their employees text on the job!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Frank Kunkle.