Abbreviations used in text messaging, such as "l8r" (later) and "plz" (please), are often seen as linguistic vandalism. But research has shown that children who use "textisms" are unlikely to have problems with spelling and reading. Clare Wood, reader in developmental psychology at Coventry University, tested a group of 8- to 12-year-olds and found that reading ability can be predicted from "textism" levels. Dr Wood, whose work was funded by the British Academy, said texting was "a valuable form of contact with written English for many children".
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