Summits Yellow

Teenage Literacy Shock

David Murphy

A report from Cambridge University suggests that teenage literacy is at its best for 15 years. A two-year study of exam papers going back over the last 25 years shows that todays teenagers, text-mad though they may be, can string a sentence together more eloquently than the teenagers of yesteryear.

There is some cheer for those who make their living out of text messaging, Premium SMS and other mobile marketing services, however the study found that the modern teenager is 10 times more likely to use colloquialisms and SMS-style abbreviations such as 2 and u than those who took their exams a quarter of a century ago. This in itself is a slightly surprising statistic, since it suggests that even before the days of SMS, there were a few teenagers out there using SMS-style language. (10 times zero is, after all, zero.) Where are these spotty youths now? No doubt occupying senior positions in mobile phone networks or running their own mobile entertainment companies.