UK Text Messaging Teens Use Only 800 Words a Day
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2010 Jan 11
A cautionary tale from across the pond...
A generation of teenagers who communicate via the Internet and by text messages are risking unemployment because their daily vocabulary consists of just 800 words, the UK's new children's communication tsar has warned.
Although, according to recent surveys, they know an
average of 40,000 words, they tend to favour a "teenspeak" used in text
messages, on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace and in
internet chat rooms like MSN.
One poll, commissioned by Tesco, revealed that while children had the vocabulary to be articulate, the top 20 words they used included "yeah", "no" and "but" - accounted for about a third of all the words they used.
According to Jean Gross, England's first Communication Champion for Children who started in the post this month, the lack of range will impact negatively on their chances of getting a job.
"Teenagers are spending more time communicating through electronic media and text messaging, which is short and brief," she told The Sunday Times. "We need to help today's teenagers understand the difference between their textspeak and the formal language they need to succeed in life - 800 words will not get you a job."