Local school teachers are facing a new, modern problem.
Students are so proficient in using their cell phones and instant messaging that the abbreviated words and symbols they use are showing up in schoolwork and reports in place of proper grammar.
"I've seen more lower case i's to mean the word "I". I've seen the ampersand (&) for the word "and." I've seen it in their written work, I've seen it in their typed work. It makes its appearance in many forms of their writing," said 8th grade Ottawa River teacher Tracey Rudnicki.
Rudnicki is not alone. Her students admit this is a growing problem.
"We text more than we write so we just get used to it after a while," said Ottawa River 8th grader Rodney Turner.
"It just kind of comes naturally when I write," said 8th grader Jerrica Damask.
"Like for the word "you" I won't spell it out I just put "u" and all the lower case for the I's and everything. And for yours I put "ur," said Ottawa River 8th grader Jake Nowak.
Rudnicki says she is trying to teach her students that there is a place for informal writing and it is not in schoolwork.
"In schoolwork they have to know the difference. That grammar rules apply, proper punctuation, that sort of thing. They need to make an extra effort to get it right," said Rudnicki.
The students say they get that but that it is hard for them to make the change.
"Well it just takes a little more time so people just use the words they text with because it's quicker," said Turner.
"It's going to be hard to break the habit," said Damask.
It may just be that cracking down with the red pen is the way to get out the message about text language.
"I think that I have to become a little more drastic and maybe be a little harder on the grading to get them to stop doing it. To get them to raise their level of concern about using text talk and symbols in their writing," said Rudnicki.
Students say they just have to be a little more careful.
"I catch myself. I go back and retype it," said Ottawa River 8th grader Sierra Hall.
"I have to read over it a lot and make sure I didn't write that for papers," said Nowak.
This bad text language habit could lead not only to some poor grades but also trouble passing written assessment tests.
What do you think? Cursive has gone out of style-- is proper grammar necessary today? What are your experiences with text language outside of a text memo. Has it ever shown up in a memo from your boss?