Why use five words when you can use one? It's the secret to good texting and tweeting – and to good writing.
Call me a contrarian, but I think texting and tweeting improve language skills. Teens don't say "came to the realization that" or "utilized" in a Facebook post, a text, or a tweet. They say "realized" or "used." Sure, they may take some artistic license when it comes to spelling. But they write tight. Yay!
My friend Helen Sword, author of Stylish Academic Writing, The Writer's Diet, and a popular New York Times post on "zombie nouns," shares my view – to a point.
"I agree that social media can help kids learn to write short, snappy sentences," she says. "Better to KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) than to KILL (Keep It Long and Laborious)! KISSing is a useful skill for later in life, too. Even in the dusty halls of academe, for examine, PhD students are now being encouraged to take part in 'two minute dissertation' competitions. If you can't convey the importance of your research project succinctly and persuasively in a two-minute sound bite, how can you ever hope to write a winning grant application?"
Via Charles Tiayon, Susan Golab, Lynnette Van Dyke