Chat Speak – Advantage Or Nuisance?

Technology has penetrated human lives immensely, drastically altering the communication approach. More and more people all over the world, especially the younger generations and students, use online chat and cell phones as faster means of communication. While there are numerous benefits of technological advancement, it could be equally counterproductive as well. With people chatting on the internet or text messaging each other, communication has never been as rapid as it is today with a completely novel evolution of English language popularly known as “chat-speak.”

One of the major impediments of using chat speak is its penetration in the lives of students and the younger generation and its destructive effects. Chat speak has a negative impact on academic writing skills, due to the inappropriate use spellings and words. Critics of the chat-speak evolution argue that written meaningful communication among students is bound to suffer as they begin to use short-forms more habitually, replacing words like “you” with “u” or “great” with “gr8”. Other common variants include “s” to imply “yes” or the use of numerical digit “4” to signify “for”.

The use of online chat and text messaging has become so profound that educationists have begun to worry about the resultant detrimental effects on the academic lives of students. Misspelled words and spellings replacing normal words and terms in the language, is a definite cause for alarm. Short forms are believed to hinder the ability of students to communicate effectively through the written medium, especially when writing academic papers, essays, drafts or any other literary prose. Proponents of chat-speak however argue that the evolution of language is a continuous process which is why chat-speak should be a welcome medium of communication.

What do you think about this ongoing debate? Is chat-speak a medium which is here to destroy the English language or is it merely a form of communication which will be used by individuals to use time effectively? Whether you’re a teacher or a student, share your views and let us know what you think and why?

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