Crispin Sartwell’s half tongue-in-check defense of texting and Twitter (Sept. 22) as a “golden age of the written word” ignores all evidence of the opposite (“Texting and Twitter Make This a Golden Age for the Written Word,” op-ed, Sept. 23). Those of us who ban laptops in the classroom he labels “schoolmarms,” and he cites the old charge of they-hated-comic-books-too for the millionth time, and to equally empty effect.

He skips the fact that the SAT added a writing component in 2006, and scores have dropped every year save two when they were flat. A recent Hart Research Associates poll of employers found barely one quarter (27%) think that recent college grads are well-prepared in writing. The ACT’s college readiness scores in English have actually dropped six percentage points in the last five years.

All of this has happened while youths have texted away the hours. Mr. Sartwell calls it writing, but he doesn’t realize that tweeting and texting don’t make them better writers. They make them better tweeters and texters. To say, “Perk up, young people, and keep on texting,” as he concludes, isn’t whimsical or cute or provocative. It’s irresponsible.

~ Mark Bauerlein,  Texting Isn’t the Same as Writing, or Even Thinking  (In a Letter to the Editor, Sept 27, 2017)

Photo: “Texting” by Noa agravante



  1. yes, it’s a whole other skill set, and one that does not serve them well when aiming for a coherent written piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dnt undrstnd Y txtg S a bad thng. Srly U can undrstnd lif in 140 chtrs R les !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Having worked in offices as variations of secretary, admin. assistant and other fancy titles all meaning the same difference for over 30 years; I lamented the disappearance of proper writing skills. As the years went on, it became poorer and poorer. I just cannot join that bandwagon of “shorthand writing”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, the lament of my life as an English/Speech teacher! As the head of the English Department at our college prep school, I insisted that the main theme was to teach our students to write well so they could survive in college and careers. I think we did a good job. I had one student who enrolled at UCLA tell me, “I’m the only one in my class who knows how to write an essay.” Many,many “alums” have told me how knowing how to write well has enhanced their careers. Yes, it is important to be able to communicate with a vocabulary that needs to be spelled correctly. Texting is regressing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ignore them. The few are often more right than the many.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: