December 9, 2008

Researcher: Harder to read ‘text speak’

An Australian psychology lecturer says that while abbreviated text speak is quicker to write than normal English, it takes twice as long to read.

Nenagh Kemp of the University of Tasmania said the 55 students involved in his study took about 26 seconds to read a text speak message aloud while it took only 14 seconds for them to read similar messages written out with full English spelling, The Dominion Post reported Tuesday.

I think that we're so accustomed to reading words spelled in conventional English, which we can read without sounding out the words, that when a spelling like 'frendz' comes along, we have to stop and sound it out, so it slows us down, even if we get to the right answer, Kemp said.