Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Way We Communicate

A few weeks ago I was talking about how some students don't know enough about writing. I mentioned this to my 8th grade daughter, Adina, and she said, "Don't they know enough to answer in full sentences?" When I went to visit her teacher for parent-teacher conferences, the teacher showed me the following essay. Adina told me what she had already thought about and wrote for her class. The essay below was edited for presentation here. The ideas are hers. I only edited it as I would any article for publication.


The Way We Communicate


Adina Stuhlman

Since the 1940’s we have changed the way we communicate. Now we have email, online chats and blogs. When writing we should write in full and complete sentences. E-mail, chatting and blogs are okay if we write correctly. We can communicate very easily with these things. However, if we do not write correctly when using e-mail, online chats and blogs there will be bad consequences to our wonderful language.

1. Many people, when writing on online chats, blogs and e-mail, use abbreviations such as: ttyl = talk to you later, l8er = later, btw = by the way, ur = you are, etc. When people use these abbreviations they start to speak and write like that all the time, which corrupts our speech. Our speech is corrupted because people start to think that these abbreviations and altering of our words is how we really write them or say them, when in fact they are not. These people lose the ability and the desire to write in full and complete sentences. Apathy toward writing correctly is bad for the English language.

2. When we e-mail or snail mail a letter or note to another person, (like an English teacher), and we use these new abbreviations, he or she might not understand them. The person who received the letter could think the abbreviations meant something other than what you, the sender meant, or not understand them at all. It is important that we do not use these abbreviations so people know what in the world we are talking about.

3. We need to write and speak in full sentences so that others can understand what we are trying to make a point of. If we ask a friend of ours (by e-mail, in the hall, or on the phone) “Hey what’s do we have to do tonight?” the friend will not know if we are talking about homework, your dance lesson, or play practice etc. Instead, we should say “Hey what was the homework in class? I did not catch the assignment.” When you say something like this the friend knows what you are trying to find out, and why. It is then much easier for the friend to help you.

In conclusion it is important to write correctly so that our wonderful language does not get ruined. We need to not use abbreviations because they can cause people to lose their want to write their word out fully. We also need to write and speak in full sentences then other people can understand us. If we do not write correctly there will be bad consequences.

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