The Instigator
Randomknowledge
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
KevinL75
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points

Chat speak is detrimental to your spelling skills.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,064 times Debate No: 1999
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (16)

 

Randomknowledge

Con

Hello, Logical. I am a frequent user on this website and felt that It was time I stepped up my game and debated a true debater. I would like to debate with you the fact that "chat speak" is not deprimental to your future spelling skills. I have been using IM for years, and I have been the spelling bee chapion ofr my school last year and i have been very good at spelling for a very long time. This might be a factor of an intelligence level, but I just dont think that it can be detrimental. there were 34,100,691 IM's sent last hour. This is how big the magnitude of IM's sent are. Do we see a nationwide Spelling pandemic? I think not.
KevinL75

Pro

This is certainly an interesting debate topic. I'd like to point out a few things in this first round, and I'll number them so they're easy to reference and respond to.

1. I couldn't help but notice the use of the misspelled word "deprimental" in your original argument.

2. I do not accept the premise that you are an accurate cross-section of typical individuals who use "chatspeak" in their IM conversations. I doubt anyone who voluntarily comes to an internet debating site to debate could be described as typical.

3. As far as the relationship between speaking in IM and a negative effect on spelling, I propose this causation: Since IM windows are rarely if ever equipped with a spell-checking mechanism, and the nature of an IM conversation is to generally ignore things like spelling and not point out misspellings unless they detract from the meaning of something that's said, IM users do not have an incentive to spell things correctly. If one is in doubt of the spelling of a word, an IM conversation does not encourage that person to check the spelling, and he or she will most likely spell that word incorrectly. Because he or she spells this word incorrectly in IM, that spelling will become mentally associated with that word, and the misspelling will stick.

In other words, the environment of instant messaging creates a situation in which words can be easily associated with misspellings without the user noticing.
Debate Round No. 1
Randomknowledge

Con

Hello, KevinL75. I have a few points to make as well. I did spell "Detrimental" correct the second time I wrote it, lower in the passage. I also want to point out that most of the users of IM vary in their use of chatspeak, as you mentioned, but most of the people that use IM are students much like myself. They are also frequent web users. These chat speakers and web users post pages and write articles about the correct way to spell and the correct way to write. America is slowly emerging from a deep freeze of internet dictionary and internet encyclopedia use because they finally realize that most of the imformation on these sites is not right. Americans are smart, as you know, and know how to read and write. They will not fall ill to bad chat speak spelling becuase they are smart. Simple as that. People who use chatspeak are usually smart, as well, and know what they are doing. In fact, chat speak is becoming more and more obsolete. I am one of the people that likes to write everything out, in case of reading it back or sending it on. It also makes me feel better about my personal spelling skills. I trust that you are a qualified debater and I will learn alot.
KevinL75

Pro

Alright, a couple of things:

1. I will agree that most frequent web users - the kind that frequent sites like this one - are also frequent IM users, but that does not mean that all (or even most) frequent IM users are the kind of people who do things like write articles on correct spelling. Many, many Americans (particularly young Americans) use IM as their primary form of communication with their friends, regardless of their other web habits.

2. You said: "Americans are smart, as you know, and know how to read and write." I'd like to first point out that having good spelling skills has little to do with native intelligence. The way words are spelled in the English language is largely a combination of often contradictory rules, and learning how to spell a particular word is almost always simply a matter of memorizing that spelling, however random it might be. That does not require intelligence, but rather the motivation to simply learn the spelling of the word. My argument is that the average IM user does not have that motivation, and the setting of an IM window is not conducive to creating that motivation.

3. You said: "People who use chatspeak are usually smart, as well, and know what they are doing." This I will whole-heartedly disagree with. Chatspeak is part of the American lexicon regardless of the level of intelligence of the person using it - I doubt you could walk down the street and find more than one or two young people who couldn't tell you what "brb" meant, and not all of the people who could would be exceedingly smart.

Nearly everyone uses chatspeak, not only intelligent people.

4. You seem to be under the impression that Americans as a group are smart. Unless we're comparing Americans to other first-world nations (which I don't think would be the best idea, because it would probably be detrimental to your argument,) there's no way Americans as a whole can be smart. Every group of people has to have a gradient of intelligence, making some individuals "intelligent," some "average," and some below average.
Debate Round No. 2
Randomknowledge

Con

I just want to start off by dissecting your second part. You, (and I quote) said "The way words are spelled in the English language is largely a combination of often contradictory rules, and learning how to spell a particular word is almost always simply a matter of memorizing that spelling, however random it might be. That does not require intelligence, but rather the motivation to simply learn the spelling of the word." The plain truth of the situation is that spelling is not only the memorization of a word, but a cognitive thinking process involving Phonetics and intuitiveness. Take a spelling bee. If you are given the word, say ephemeral, and you werent sure whether it was an FF or a PH, you would ask for the origin of the word. The speaker would have said the word is from Greek, and you would immediately know that it was PH, becuase the greek language doesnt use the letter F. This is a mental process and something that is not merely the "Memerization" of a word. I know we are talking about the internet, and not a spelling bee, but I am only citing an example. You said that "Nearly everyone uses chatspeak, not only intelligent people." I agree with you on that. But I have to say and Im sure you agree that Intelligent people DO use chatspeak. I want to direct your attention to the fact that people come from all over the world to be students and work at what other countries call the "Place to learn:" America. Americans may have a few minorities that are not as smart as the rest, but overall, America is a very smart place. I will also agree that when writing an IM, you do not have as much motivation to check your spelling. There is, however, a choice now. If you look at an IM on today's IM screens, you will see a box that says ABC. This is a Spell Check box, showing the consideration of computer software creators today. You will proably find alot of things to pick up on, but I feel this is a conclusive debate statement that echoes my sentiment toward this topic quite nicely.
KevinL75

Pro

You said: "The plain truth of the situation is that spelling is not only the memorization of a word, but a cognitive thinking process involving Phonetics and intuitiveness. Take a spelling bee."

There is a difference between working out the spelling of a word based on contextual clues in a spelling bee as an intellectual exercise and knowing the correct spelling of a word for everyday use. Spelling is a largely practical skill, not an intellectual one, and for nearly all intents and purposes, I believe we can treat spelling as a practical skill, and not an intellectual exercise.

You said: "But I have to say and Im sure you agree that Intelligent people DO use chatspeak."

I do agree that intelligent people use chatspeak, because I said that the majority of people use chatspeak. I don't, however, see how this is relevant, since my arguments deal with the majority of the population, and primarily NOT with highly intelligent individuals.

As far as the availability of a spell-checker on IM programs, it may now be more convenient to check spelling, but there is no automated process that will point out to the user an incorrect spelling, and there is still very little motivation in the context of a typical IM conversation in which an average American would partake to identify the correct spelling of a word. Therefore, there is still a danger of associating misspellings with words, because of the nature of an IM conversation.

Chatspeak plays into this aspect of an IM conversation because it adds to the idea that it is not important to be "proper" when instant messaging, which includes abbreviating phrases using chatspeak, AND not worrying about the spelling of words.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
Randomknowledge
I think i was debating the harder side.
Posted by Capt.Herp 9 years ago
Capt.Herp
I'm one of those stodgy old guys who actually learned how to spell, and have been on the net for ten years or so.

Not only does no one know how to e-mail a proper letter anymore (no caps, no paragraphs, etc.) but that internet slang stuff is just annoying as hell. If you go to sites like http://www.michaelcrichton.com... and look at their forum rules, they don't even ALLOW internet slang, i.e. "U" for "you," 4 for "for," etc. And as for spelling -- forget it. Kids use spellcheck, so they don't even bother to try to spell correctly for the most part. They just let the computer do it for them. I'm sorry, but it is possible to learn how to spell correctly, chatspeak or not. Ignoring spelling rules just means the English language is doomed.

As a teacher, when I look at internet forums and see that "chatspeak" (is that what it's called now?) in messages, my estimation of the writer's IQ drops about 40 points.

One last point: there is no such word as "alot." It's "a lot," as in two words.
Posted by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
Randomknowledge
Thank you, kevin and I appreciate your debating. :)
Posted by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
Randomknowledge
I am asumming that the person who accepts this challenge is logical, and I wish it to be someone that knows how to debate.
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Vote Placed by eyeleapy 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by PreacherFred 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Ozymandias 9 years ago
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