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TinotopiaLog → Some Kids Are Incredibly Stupid (19 Sep 2002)
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Thursday 19 September 2002

Some Kids Are Incredibly Stupid

From The New York Times. Kids are apparently handing in school papers using idiotic instant-messaging and SMS shorthand:

Deborah Bova, who teaches eighth-grade English at Raymond Park Middle School in Indianapolis, thought her eyesight was failing several years ago when she saw the sentence “B4 we perform, ppl have 2 practice” on a student assignment.

“I thought, `My God, what is this?’ ” Ms. Bova said. “Have they lost their minds?”

Another teacher says, “I understand `cuz,’ but what’s with the `wuz’? It’s the same amount of letters as `was,’ so what’s the point?”

A student comments:

“I was so used to reading what my friends wrote to me on Instant Messenger that I didn’t even realize that there was something wrong,” she said. She said her ability to separate formal and informal English declined the more she used instant messages. “Three years ago, if I had seen that, I would have been `What is that?’ “

Illustrating nicely the use of ‘be’ where standard usage would favor ‘say’. Interesting because “I was ‘What is that?’” is quite different from “I said, ‘What is that?’” That seems to be an useful addition to the language, allowing quite a bit of subtlety.

Posted by tino at 12:46 19.09.02
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Posted by: Chris at September 20, 2002 10:26 AM

“Wuz” is a phonetic spelling. “Was” is one of the many words in English whose spelling no longer matches the sound.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste` at September 23, 2002 11:20 PM