Final Reflection

In this semester’s commonplacing activities for Advanced Composition, I was given the opportunity to collect discourses and arguments surrounding the debate of texting’s effects on grammar. Through the activity of commonplacing, I gained a better understanding of the argument, a more developed thesis statement, and a copious amount of credible sources to use both in my weekly exercises and in my final paper.

To begin, at the beginning of the semester, before I began my research, I was dubious that this popular form of technological communication really effected grammar. Then, after finding my first couple of sources, my position began to lean towards the idea that textisms really did negatively affect grammar. However, with more research, I came to the conclusion that will be argued in my final research paper: Because the results of studies done of textisms effects on grammar are inconclusive, and because textisms are an engrained part on the coming generation’s culture, textisms should be redirected for use in positive ways instead of being essentially boycotted by educators.

Secondly, this proactive solution to the debate comes from the fact that as well as the fact that redirecting the uses of texting would be much easier than trying to completely get rid of them, textisms have potential as a way to develop understand of English as literature. Through this commonplace blog, I was able to delve deeply enough into my research to come to this carefully formed solution. Without the effort I have put into this blog, my paper probably would have argued that textisms degrade the English language, and it would not include any strong individual input as my current thesis does.

Lastly, this blog has prompted me to collect over twenty arguments to use in my paper. On top of allowing me to examine all sides of the argument, these sources have allowed me to see different ways arguments can be formed for this topic. One example would be the image where a young hand is writing first textisms and then their standard English counterparts. This images demonstrates the argument that teens have the ability to understand and communicate in standard English even though they use textisms superfluously– all without a written discourse. These varying arguments were perfect to draw from for my progymnasmata (rhetorical writing) exercises also. These exercises differ greatly, from a fable to a characterization, outline, and a defense of a law. Having sources flexible enough to serve all of these purposes made drafting my final paper much easier than it would have been otherwise; I already had an idea of what arguments to use and where before I even began writing my outline.

By giving me a better understand of the debate on texting, a more developed thesis statement, and a copious amount of credible sources to draw on for my final paper, this commonplace blog has facilitated my process of invention and of drafting my argument. Having all of my data in one place made researching much easier and centralized; therefore, the commonplace blog allowed me to see my argument as a whole instead of as separated parts. This understanding allowed me to draft a much stronger argument for my final paper.


Wait and Think

wait and thing


This graphic imparts some advice on when and when not to text, and it argues that the content of a text message determines its value.


This article, titled “Texting,” by David Crystal consists of two textism poems by poet Norman Silver and Crystal’s commentary on the strengths and weakens of this form of communication. Crystal explains limitation such as difficulty in abbreviating uncommon and longer words. He also explains the rules for creating textisms and the uses of punctuation in texting. However, more importantly, I believe, is the objective, open way David Crystal views this kind of textism poetry. He has come to the conclusion that it is a valid form of literary expression. He accepts textism poetry as an art form. Looking at the poetry, one can see the careful choice of textisms and organization in Silver’s poems is akin to the careful ordering and organization in tradition poetry. The focus, or content, of the poems are also about the important of language and communication, which lends to the type of language used in Silver’s poetry.

For my paper, this article would both give examples of textisms as artistic tools and give support to these thoughts through Crystal’s treatment of them. By stating how textisms can be used artistically, this article lends to my argument of the value of textisms as a cultural form of expression. If Crystal, a renowned linguist from a Wales university, believes good poetry can be made from textisms, then textisms can be considered a complicated, valid form of communication.

Rom and Joolz

Rom and Joolz

Page two on this link has an arictle by Kath Schofield titled “Rom n Joolz: Texting and Literacy” in which Schofield approaches different ways of using textisms in a classroom environment. Her techniques include an interesting idea: creating a template by photocopying a text messaging screen on a mobile phone. Schofield uses this template to either have students examine messages written by Schofield or to have them compose their own messages, either in full sentences or artistically in textisms. Schofield also relates that she uses textisms to aid in teaching her students Shakespeare. Included in this article is a series of three stanzas in which the play Romeo and Juliet (here known as “Rom” and “Joolz”) has been rewritten in textisms. She then had her students rewrite the text messages about “Rom” and “Joolz” and discuss the plot of the play.

While this article is proactive in its solutions to the probable issues of communication decrement as a result of using textisms, I believe this author has underrated her students’ abilities to analyze standard English. Because her students were young adults, instead of presenting them with an already translated version of Shakespeare and then having the students further analyze the textism version, I believe that the students could have shown their abilities better if they translated straight from Shakespeare’s text.

For my paper, this article would provide evidence of another teacher who has sought to incorporate textisms into her lessons.

Texting Poetry

Texting Poetry

In this article, David Crystal argues that textisms (the abbreviations found in text messaging) have existed for a long time and that text messages are actually about ninety percent standard English. He also argues that any fear or worry about textisms’ effects on literacy stemmed not from fact, but from urban myth, and these ideas are therefore not to be believed. Crystal also states that textisms aid greatly in a writer’s ability to summarize.

Most importantly, Crystal brings up the implementation of textisms as a style of poetry, which aids the idea that textisms can be used artistically. He states that these textism poems have “stunning” effect. This information would help with my argument for the cultural importance of textisms.

For my paper, it would be difficult to use some of Crystal’s statements for evidence. While Crystal does state that tests have proven that textisms help, not harm, literacy, he does not state which tests theses are or how they have come to this conclusion. His arguments have the appearance of persuasion, but once studied, it can be seen that they lack the substance need to hold them together. This lack of evidence hurts not only his arguments, but also his ethos as a whole, an lends incredibility to an otherwise well-done argument

IMs and Manners

IMs and Manners

In this article from the New York Times by Nick Bilton titled, “Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette,” the transformations of etiquette because of the use and popularity of text messaging, Google, and other forms of finding information and communication online are explored. Bilton argues that while being polite will always be important, some forms of normal or polite behavior have become moot, such as asking for directions (now we have Google Maps) and leaving voice mail messages (now we have text messaging). Such activities are now considered tactless because there is a more efficient way to achieve the same goal.

For my paper, this article will offer support for the idea that technology has “stream-lined” and simplified the English language not only in creative expression but also in the way that people show respect to each other and the reasons they communication with each other. As related to in this article, everyday niceties are being replaced by smartphone so that people are communicating more with Google than other people. While this way of gathering information may be fast and much more efficient, it does not lend to conversation skills. This raises the question: How important is etiquette? and, What does etiquette lend to effective communication? What is etiquette’s purpose, and do we need it?

Being Creative with Texting

Being Creative with Texting

In this article, titled “British Educators Angered by “Texting” I say “don’t get mad, get creative!” ” author Erin Jansen argues for the underlying importance of textisms to teens. She explains textisms’ importance as a part of teens’ cultural. Jansen also describes the Internet as a place where teens can forgo the restrictions of punctuation and spelling and creative their own forms of creative expression– and use them. But, while she acknowledges how important these textisms are to their users, Jansen also admits that teens are becoming less and less aware of the difference between Standard and textism English. She believes “techspeak” has become like an accent to today’s teens: They have become so used to using textisms that they do not realize when they are using them and often overlook them when editing their school papers. As a conclusion, Jansen prompts educators to, instead of incriminating texting, get creative and use textisms as a way to connect with their students.

For my paper, this article would offer support for the argument that texting has cultural value, as well as value as a form of creative expression. Even though textisms have altered students’ use of English, I can argue that they have become an important aspect of the culture of today’s teens.



texting abbreviations

This image is a list of common abbreviations used in text messages. By just glancing at this image, I was immediately struck by how long it was. Each entry is a word substituted by a textism, but not only does this list stand for a translation guide for textisms, it also offers proof that textisms follow […]

Teaching Texting

Teaching Texting

This article from PBS Teachers by Andy Carvin, “Should Schools Teach SMS Text Messages?” considers the possibility of teaching students how to text message in middle school. Carvin uses Australian schools that take advantage of using text messaging in English classes to support his point. Carvin’s reasoning behind teaching texting is its potential as a tool to help students understand how languages work, such as students would study Latin or French. However, Carvin also recognizes that texting is a version of shorthand and so does not follow the stricter grammatical conventions of full languages. So, while the article considers the potential use of texting to promote understanding English, this potential is balanced with the knowledge that teaching texting would be less helpful than a full language.

For my paper, this article would offer evidence that some teachers actually take textisms seriously enough to teach how to use it appropriately in school. Taking this a step further, by teaching how to text message in school, teachers could hope to take control of the direction textisms are going or hinder the popularity of textisms by making it an area of study. Whether resulting positively or negatively, teachers can cause textisms to be seen as more important by using them in the classroom setting.

Teachers Texting Students?

This article from The Huffington Post: Education by Katherine Bindley titled “Teachers Texting Students: Should Schools Ban Or Encourage?” considers the pros and cons of teachers using technology such as texting and social networking sites to communicate with students. On the one hand, the article argues, teachers have used text messaging as a way to communicate inappropriately with their students. But, on the other hand, teachers have used texting to ask thought-provoking questions about the studies to their classes as a whole, and have gotten responses from shy students and better attendance and determination from students as a result. The article concludes by offering a solution: Teachers should use sites such as Tweet Text, which text messages publically viewable tweets, and Remind 101, which allows teachers to communicate with students via texting without the exchange of phone numbers or personal information.

This article gave a good counter-argument to educators’ use of texting technology to communicate with students, and then offer a viable solution for the problems. I was impressed by the unbiased presentation of the information and the writer’s ability to consider both sides of the issue and then create a compromise. I think that the promotion of such specialized texting-for-teaching technology will give the teachers a valuable medium for keeping students interested in their studies as well as protecting these students from inappropriate abuse of this medium.