The Short Messaging Language and Its Negative Impact on Students in Hong Kong



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‘The new computer and mobile phone messaging language is having a negative effect on Hong Kong students’ written English. ’ The information technology in Hong Kong has been flourishing rapidly since 19 century. Since then, the information technology has provided the Hong Kong citizen with so much convenient. Most of the teenagers in Hong Kong keen on using the latest IT products. These products has become a part of their daily life. They use their computers, smart phones or tablets to communicate with their friends and improve their friendship.

In order to shorten their use of time in texting, they always invented different texting or messaging language to chat with their peers. These message language are constructed in Chinese or Cantonese pinyin or Chinglish. They are not restricted by standard grammar rules. Noticing the messaging language are so popular among adolescents, some educators are very concerned about whether the messaging language will deteriorated students “written ENglish”. The answer is clearly positive-messaging language harms students’ “written English” .

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Firstly, messaging language did not have specific rules. Most of the messaging language is invented by the people who text. In order to shorten the time that they used in texting, they always use different code ,symbols or initials to express many ideas. For instance, some of the youngsters will use “88” to represent the English “goodbye”. These messaging language do not need to aware of the correctness of the grammar. It lessons the youths’ grammatical awareness. When teenagers get used to use these simple coding or symbols, their grammatical awareness will eventually deteriorated.

Secondly, messaging language affects students’ vocabulary building. Most of the messaging language are constructed in simple English words. When people encounter a relatively difficult word, in contrast with using the English vocabulary, teenagers tend to use Cantonese pinyin to convey the meaning. This may not affect the communication but it limited the opportunity of learning or using a new vocabulary. When time past, teenagers cannot enrich their vocabulary bank.

In contrast, as they rarely use new words, their vocabulary bank are limited and this affects a lot when they need to use more vocabulary to enrich their composition. Thirdly,messaging language may lead to problem for students to make complete sentences. Most of the existing messaging language are short and precise. They are mainly some short phrases or some ellipsis. Youngsters seldom use complete sentences in texting messages. Therefore, when students texting more and more. They will adapt to think of the response in short, simple phrases.

The problem may be especially serious when students trying to write in English. It affects the coherence of the composition they made. Worse, they may have difficulty in writing in complete sentences. To conclude, messaging language can have a considerably bad impact towards students’ “written language”. Therefore, teachers should not encourage students to use messaging language. Teachers should point out the drawbacks of using messaging language as a routine and ask students to avoid using it in their texting. Instead, accurate English complete sentences should be encouraged. (500 Words)

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