Good AP story in yesterday's News-Sentinel: "Teens' writing is more informal." As e-mail and texting become the written language of choice, abbreviations and slang are making their way into more formal communication:
Despite best efforts to keep school writing assignments formal, two-thirds of teens admit in a survey that emoticons and other informal styles have crept in.Here's the thing: using informal language is fine is you're writing in an informal environment. But when you insert a sideways smiley face or sign off with a "c-ya" in a document written for school or work, you risk losing some respect. If you're comfortable with that, fine--but recognize that you'll also have to be comfortable missing out on some opportunities that might come your way if you write in a more formal style.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a study released Thursday, also found that teens who keep blogs or use social-networking sites like Facebook or News Corp.'s MySpace have a greater tendency to slip nonstandard elements into assignments.