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Effect of texting and social media on orthography

7/13/2012 by Susana Schultz

As a Spanish translator and linguist, this is a subject very dear to my heart. We all know that computers, texting, emailing, and social media have already destroyed the lost art of penmanship. And thanks to texting and social media, orthography is becoming another lost art.

Young people and adults alike are increasingly using very bad orthography to communicate, to the point that I wonder if they totally forgot how to spell properly. This phenomenon is not just happening to the English language here in the U.S. I have Facebook friends from Spanish- and Italian-speaking countries and I am seeing similar horrific orthography on both, Spanish and Italian languages. It is a global disaster of epic proportions!

I can’t help but wonder how everyone is faring at school and at their jobs when they can’t spell correctly… It is a conundrum. But thank goodness for Words With Friends! At least by playing almost compulsively, some of these people can regain some sort of orthography balance. Or can they?

There is no question that we need good communication skills to succeed in life, and those include good writing skills with proper grammar and orthography. When we slip on our language skills while texting or posting on social media sites, aren’t we doing ourselves a disservice? Increasingly, employers are getting involved and checking the social-media pages of employees and applicants. This global disregard for orthography can have personal repercussions when trying to impress a professor, a teacher, an employer… and getting that special job!

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