While most of us are guilty of speaking in “text speak” to save time, a new study reveals it actually takes longer to understand than normal English.
A study conducted by Nenagh Kemp at the University of Tasmania shows text-speak saves time for the writer, but takes the reader nearly twice as long to read.
In a study of 55 students, Kemp found it took an average of 14 seconds to read a message aloud sent in normal English. But when written in “text speak,” the students took a whopping 26 seconds.
Kemp told The Dominion Post the most obscure abbreviations were connected with small social groups, so they were harder for others to understand.
“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.”