Wednesday, March 20, 2013

OMG, R U Texting, Tweeting, Twittering 2 Much?

Have you ever received a text or even an email from a colleague who reads with strange lingo? Maybe you’ve received a message such as, “OMG, u r not going to believe how gr8 2 day was!” If so, did you find it cringe-worthy or did you take it in stride? Or are you the one who likes to use texting lingo and just considers this the new norm? This informal way of communicating is definitely getting some buzz. However, not so fast! This buzz isn’t always necessarily the most positive kind.

According to the Wall Street Journal, employers are also sitting up and taking notice. Word on the street from employers is that the grammatical and writing skills of some of the employees they hire are disintegrating as we speak. While quite savvy technically speaking, there are some younger twenty to thirty-something employees who have a language all their own. Some employers are concerned that they seem to lack the communication skills needed to effectively communicate. I’m not saying texting, tweeting, and twittering should not be done. Quite the contrary, I’m sure it is here to stay. However, in the workplace and your professional life, it is probably prudent to err on the side of conservatism. Make sure your language is more traditional and less informal. In a nut shell, the caveat here is, “be careful with the written and spoken word.”

Technology is great, but it is also the big change agent for our language. You are probably as willing to grow and conform with technology as much as the next person is. However, if you have a Teen or Tween (or know of one) who is texting, tweeting, and twittering to their heart’s content, you can see how the English language is being altered to somewhat of an unrecognizable state. Even some teachers have noted that when children are writing their school assignments, they are prone to using this new abbreviated language. What will this translate into as they assimilate into the work force of the future? Perhaps it will evolve into a whole new language. Only time will tell.

In a survey done by AARP, there were approximately 45% of 430 employers surveyed who said they were increasing company training programs to improve grammar and other skills of their employees. This is a strong indication that many managers are clearly concerned with the accuracy of grammar in themselves and their employees. Those who wish to advance their careers would be well advised to follow their example.

A friend of mine told me about a text she had received from someone in her profession that she didn’t know well. The language of the text was in texting lingo. To her, she said it sounded like the sender of the text was more like a long lost-friend rather than a distant business acquaintance. My friend was somewhat taken aback. It made her take a second look at the professionalism of this acquaintance, or perhaps, as she said, the lack of it.

So perhaps this can be a word to the wise. Even in this day and age, it is best to use the Queen’s English when writing letters, texting, and emailing to your professional colleagues. With that said, you can still save the texting, twittering, and tweeting lingo for your friends, just don’t do it while driving, please. BTW, U 2 R going 2 have a gr8 day! TTYL but Bye, 4 now… Cya. : )              

Cathy L. Sage is President of Robert Sage Careers, LLC; an Executive Search Firm and Job Board Publisher who specializes in the Factor-Built Structures Industries. Cathy can be reached at 727/504-5350 or For more information about the company and to visit the job board, access  

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