British Girl Baffles Teacher with SMS Essay

“My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 : kids FTF. ILNY, it’s a gr8 plc.”|[T]he 13-year-old’s teacher could not decipher what the youngster had written. “I could not believe what I was seeing. The page was riddled with hieroglyphics, many of which I simply could not translate,” the teacher told the newspaper. —British Girl Baffles Teacher with SMS Essay (Reuters)

What kind of writing did this girl do when she was 12? I doubt she just sprang up out of the ground fluent in text-message shorthand. Is she incapable of writing a “my summer holiday” essay in conventional prose, or did she just write the shorthand with the intention of going back later and revising it? This is an alarmist piece, which makes the teachers look as silly as the student seems incompetent.

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