The boom of the Internet generation seems to have largely affected the way people communicate and interact using the English language. A paper written by the English Spelling Society reports that Internet chat rooms and social networking sites are encouraging children and teenagers to misspell words and commit other grammatical errors.
The paper surveyed 18-24-year-olds, who claimed that unconventional spellings are being used online because they are easier to type and have become the custom. One out of five among the respondents replied that they didn’t feel at ease typing an e-mail unless there was a spell checker or dictionary to consult or refer to.
Because kids tend to type at speed online, the tendency is that there seems less need, or a “general attitude” not to correct errors or adhere to the proper grammar and spelling rules. The problem lies when the need for correction is no longer recognized because many kids have already grown up using the Internet as a mode of communication.
According to the study, "The increasing use of variant spellings on the internet has been brought about by people typing at speed in chat rooms and on social networking sites where the general attitude is that there isn't a need to correct typo's or conform to spelling rules."
Lucy Jones, author and former student at Manchester University, said: "We are now witnessing the effect these linguistic variations are having on children born into the computer age with such a high level of access in and out of schools. They do not question their existence."
Says Jack Bovill, chair of the English Spelling Society, “Accurate spelling is of the utmost importance, but from this most recent survey we can conclude that the unprecedented reach and scale of the internet has given rise to new social practices and it is now an agent in spelling change.