English Language Butchered: A Study of the Correlational Relationship Between Text Messaging Frequency and the Instance of Jargon in Formal Writing
The rapidly evolving text messaging phenomenon among teenagers and young adults is noteworthy. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between text messaging frequency and use of text messaging jargon in formal writing. The sample consisted of 152 Year 11-13 secondary school students (68 males and 84 females) ranging from ages 14 to 18. The participants were taken from three Secondary Schools and Colleges in the greater Wellington area. This study used a non-experimental quantitative design; specifically, a correlational research design. A ten- item questionnaire was used to assess general text messaging behaviours and text messaging frequency. The participants‘ formal writing pieces were also assessed and text messaging jargon forms such as alternative phonetic spelling, vowel deletion and alphanumerisms were identified. The participants‘ language ability (represented by their NCEA scores for the previous year) was also assessed. The results revealed that the participants sent an average of 95 text messages per day with girls averaging about 126 messages per day while the boys averaged 64 messages per day. Overall, the research revealed that there was a weak negative correlational relationship (-0.01; p=.986) between frequency of text messaging and instance of text jargon in formal writing. Therefore, the principal conclusion of the study was that the two variables, frequency of text messaging and instance of jargon in formal writing were not statistically related.