Txt, kairos and authentic writing
Interesting THES piece questioning the widely-held assumption that texting is a threat to literacy.
“And as for all that texting and the world of abbreviations, we simply must assess this development carefully. It seems that the most positive aspect of Lunsford’s research involved the concept rhetoricians call kairos.
The term is used to describe the technique of assessing the audience for whom one is writing. The basic premise focuses on the writer’s ability to adapt “their tone and technique to best get their point across.”
In other words, while texting and socializing online with friends, students might use multiple abbreviations and include smiley faces. But when it comes to writing a real academic paper, students never mistakenly insert such informality.
Perhaps most importantly, the texting and socializing appear to be incredibly meaningful in a student’s development as a writer. Lunsford found that “Stanford students were almost always less enthusiastic about their in-class writing because it had no audience but the professor: It didn’t serve any purpose other than to get them a grade.””