The question arises from a new survey done by Reader's Digest, the publication for people who feel they are too busy to read entire magazine articles, especially if they've only got half an hour to kill between Judge Judy and Oprah.
From the PR:
With the use of email, instant messaging and cell phones on the rise, almost half of the adults surveyed nationally feel that vocabulary skills of young people are declining as a result. What effect will this have on the future success of our nation's youth?
The Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge commissioned a national telephone survey of 1,000 adults, 18 and older, to gauge how these new modes of communication may be affecting the vocabulary skills of today's kids. The results of this study, released today, show 45% of the respondents feel that kids' vocabulary is declining; 26% believe these skills are improving; 21% think vocabulary skills remain the same, and 8% had no opinion.
It's amazing that using digital technology, in the minds of some so-called adults, would cause the number and variety of words used by an individual to shrink.
Or, as my 12 year-old cousin just said to me via instant messenger: "ROTFL! o gr8! r they stoopid? that is so lame :( -- got 2 go now. L8ter!"
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading