3 Dec 2013


By Ezim Osai,
Tuesday December 3, 2013.

The person who does not make mistakes is unlikely to make anything else in life

Textese is a texting/social media patois among Nigerian (and other English-speaking countries of the world) youths where words are shortened unrealistically for no apparent reason. The origin of Textese as far as I know is really obscure. I believe it began during the text message era when costs of SMS messages were still high and in order to reduce cost, teens and youths truncated their multi-paged messages into one page (140 characters).

While Textese is sometimes ‘cute’ (although never to me), it causes some serious problems in the academic and educational sector. The use of this patois has so inebriated some youths that they are unable to flip the mental switch between Textese and proper grammar when they are writing professionally or for academic purposes.
Textese has been the reason why a number of students forget the regular etiquette and rules accompanying written English and commit ‘innocent blunders’ when they are writing thus resulting in poor quality of written material. This does not however mean that all users of Textese have this problem.

Textese is a pandemic that has to be addressed as a large portion of Textese users don’t seem to know that it poses a threat to mar their academic and professional performances. The only way to break Textese is to stop using Textese at every junction; how hard is it to type ‘I’m coming’ as opposed to ‘am cumin’; not only does it look childish and immature, it assaults the senses of some non-textese users and can cause mild headaches if they are forced to read it continuously (I am speaking from experience).

While sometimes it [Textese] may be useful to truncate words and save money incurred by high data costs, other times it gives off bad vibes and can turn off some employers and even teachers when used inappropriately. While it has some practical uses on text-restricted Social Media platforms like Twitter and BBM, it should not be used except when needed so as not to confuse the brain and make the aforementioned ‘innocent blunders’. 
Continuous use of Textese is inadvisable and may result in long-term grammatical harm. Please desist from inappropriate use of it. 

Ezim Osai is a 200L Physics major at the University of Ibadan. A Taoist and a Christian, he loves Cooking, Travelling, Reading, Writing, and loves to absorb nature.

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