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College Success Tip #68 - SMH, TTYL, LOL - Text Language Has its Place.

Text language, Texting language, Text speak and SMS language are synonymous terms associated with the abbreviated language or slang words used through computer mediated communication. Text language can be expressed via an array of technology devices when communicating by and through email, instant messenger, text messages, social media etc.

As a higher education student it is of extreme importance to practice proper Netiquette which includes using text language in its proper place and proper time. Most likely text language is not considered acceptable in your college research papers, English papers, PowerPoint slides, Marketing projects or anything else. Unless your College research, Speech, or English paper addresses text language and you are providing examples.

Additionally it is not a good idea to include text language in emails to professors, higher education administrators, staff or even classmates. It is best to spell everything out so that individuals will not misconstrue, misinterpret, or misunderstand what one is requesting, suggesting or asking.

Throughout my years of teaching college students from dual credit students, transfer, returning and online students I’ve witnessed many students submit assignments that were flooded with text language. College students used abbreviations for everything and were aware that the paper that they were turning in was for 50% of their overall grade. It alarmed me that after expressing to students the seriousness of the writing assignment and if additional assistance was needed they had the option to visit the Writing Center on campus for feedback, students still submitted papers to me that included all kinds of text language/abbreviations such as:








LOL, ROFL and so much more.

Not only did I experience this as an Higher Education professor, my colleagues as well as other educators who taught in the secondary school sector expressed their concern for text language being used as a writing style suitable and acceptable to many students.

Higher Education students Text Language has its place and it is not on a scholarship application, academic resume, Midterm Exam, English Paper, Research Paper, Master’s Thesis or Doctoral Proposal.

Higher Ed students the tip is to keep all text speak/text abbreviations/ text language where it belongs. Although emails and discussion boards are a form of computer mediated communication when it comes to conversing with anyone professionally or academically it is an unacceptable practice. Be mindful of utilizing text language when sending an email to your professor or on online learning management systems where you communicate with professors and peers.

An example of an unacceptable email filled with text language is below between a student and their professor.

September 26, 2018

Professor Bryant,

Wasup? WYD? I’m ova here Chil’n. But fa real tho, I didn’t know u were makin us rt a paper ova the wknd. I won’t b able 2 do it. Hope u dnt mind & let me skip this asgmt. I won’t tell anyone. Also what r ur fav8 snx, I can hook u up wit some b4 or after class. How can I make up this wk. I dnt like writing papers. LMKW.



A College Student who needs to stop using text language in emails to professors, and spell everything out.

This is unacceptable, especially for someone aiming to be a mover, shaker, influencer, leader or positive impactor in their respective career choice. It is always a good idea to spell things out and to not get offended if someone requires one to write in complete sentences that don’t include text language.

Practice makes perfect, when one begins practicing proper writing techniques they’ll be surprised of their overall academic, conversational, professional and educational improvement.

Text language has a proper place, let’s aim to use it properly where it belongs.

A scripture to encourage you in your path is Proverbs 1:5, Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.

Aiming Towards the Target,

Peace & God Bless,

Dr. Bryant


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