AirTalk for March 4, 2013

It’s International Grammar Day, so what’s the BFD?

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It's international grammar day. Is the trend of shortening our thoughts in a digital age effecting our ability to communicate?

OMG! Social media has become an indispensable part of our everyday life. We tweet, we IM, we Facebook, we email, we chat with our coworkers online—even when they sit just two cubicles away.  As a consequence, a new style of writing has emerged. We are writing shorter, we are using more acronyms and abbreviations, and much less punctuation.

We are inundated with information every day. On the one hand, brevity is important in our daily communication; our messages need to be short and to-the-point to rise above the noise. But is concision, in the social media-sense, really good for communication? Is it harming clarity? Or is it just setting us up for more miscommunication, especially in the workplace? Is the need to shorten our thoughts effecting our ability to communicate?

Guests:
Mignon Fogarty, host of National Grammar Day, producer of the podcast, “Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips”

Dr. Kelley Crowley, Assistant professor of media communications at Shenandoah University in West Virginia

Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Boston Globe; Executive Producer of visualthesaurus.com


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