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Texting and discourse

March 8, 2012

An amazingly good example of the way the resistance to digital culture spins every piece of data according to its confirmation bias:

Research designed to understand the effect of text messaging on language found that texting has a negative impact on people’s linguistic ability to interpret and accept words.

The study, conducted by Joan Lee for her master’s thesis in linguistics, revealed that those who texted more were less accepting of new words. On the other hand, those who read more traditional print media such as books, magazines, and newspapers were more accepting of the same words.

I don’t see how “accept” has become “interpret” between the study and the headline. I have a very strong suspicion that there’s a very high degree of correlation between people who tend to read longer form discourse and people who accept new words anyway. I hate to say it, but this study seems pretty worthless to me as a way of judging how texting “affects” anything.

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