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R u rdng?

November 20th, 2007

Can you decipher “R u rdng”?  Well, if you can’t tell it translates to “Are you reading”, then you are not up-to-date with the latest text messaging/ online lingo.

Really though, are you reading?  If you are, you are among the decreasing number of Americans who spend their time reading.  In a report released today by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the number of Americans reading for leisure is significantly dropping.  Only 23 percent of 1,052 people polled in this year’s Harris Poll listed reading as their favorite leisure activity, a significant drop from 29 percent in 2004.  The study reports the drop in reading for pleasure is dramatically affecting academic testing for young Americans in a variety of subjects including math, science and the obvious – reading comprehension.  The dip in leisure reading isn’t just affecting the American youth.  Employers are reporting increasing numbers of employees who need training in basic reading, writing and interpretation skills.  They’re finding that employees resort to “text talk” such as “u” for “you,” “2” for “to” and “b4” for “before” – and other such verbal shortcuts in formal communications at inappropriate and inopportune times.

So, what are people doing to replace the beloved tradition of reading by the fire?  Are today’s high-tech advancements – text messaging, instant messaging and the Internet – the culprits of the drastic decrease of proper use of the English language?  And are we replacing one of American history’s favorite pastimes – reading – with Blackberry’s and the use of unemotional text messages?   Can a text adequately reveal someone’s tone and emotion?  A recent Ypulse survey shows that nearly 50 percent of all 13-34 year olds use text messaging as a means to flirt or date. Ten percent have used a text message to break up with a significant other. We’re using abbreviated texts to end potential marriages!  Why can’t we pick up the phone and make a call? Why can’t we meet in person and actually share conversation?   Are we giving up the art of the English language to make our lives easier with high-tech Blackberry’s and Google chat?

I’m not trying to put a damper in this generation’s tech developments.  Jst chkng 2 c if we r lsing basic comm sklz.  Thoughts?

Posted Under: Innovation & Technology, Media & Journalism
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