The headline on the article reads RU Kidding? Research Finds That Chatspeak Has No Impact on Children’s Spelling Ability — but that’s not quite accurate with respect to the more subtle evidence that emerges from a recent study reported by the University of Alberta.
For instance, “while the researchers expected there to be some correlation between poor spelling and chatspeak, [Connie] Varnhagen [author of the small, class-based study] said they were pleasantly surprised by the results.
“‘Kids who are good spellers [academically] are good spellers in instant messaging,’ she said. ‘And kids who are poor spellers in English class are poor spellers in instant messaging.’
“What was surprising, though, was how chatspeak use and spelling played in the battle of the sexes. Girls used more chatspeak than boys, who preferred to express themselves through repeated use of punctuation. However, the study found that boys who used chatspeak and abbreviations more frequently were poorer spellers. Conversely, girls who used more abbreviations were better spellers than girls who did not use many abbreviations in their messages.”
For more of interest, see the brief writeup in Science Daily.