OMG! When text lingo infiltrates professional writing

Put down your Sidekick, iPhone or Crackberry. Give your thumbs a rest and listen for a minute. You’ll survive, I promise.

Your constant texting and online chats may be hurting your professional writing skills.

Too often in my classroom I see evidence of online and text lingo creep into collegiate writing, which is supposed to be preparing my students for the professional world.

My public relations clients would cringe if I ever substituted “2” for “to” or “UR” for “you’re.” I’m baffled as to why some of my students find it acceptable. My press release assignments should not read like a vanity license plate. I don’t have the time to decipher and translate cutesy text phrases, and in the professional world, neither does the media.

The media, already quick to judge poorly executed press releases and pitches, will only further criticize public relations practitioners if our writing skills are anything but perfect.

Students must realize that there is a time and a place for everything. I don’t care if they want to use text shorthand when talking with their friends (using just their thumbs!), but in my classroom and in professional environments, it is simply unacceptable.

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