Written by Mark Lowton
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Topics: Mobile Phones

Tuesday, 24 June 2003

image for SMS Blamed for New Spate of Illiteracy
An old master prepares for a game of Thumb War

In a study carried out in England and Wales, it has been found that children who send over ten text messages (txts) per day are producing increasingly poor work.

The influence of the phrases and terminology used by the children in their txts is shown in the work from thousands of young school children. The most popular mistake discovered was the use of a smiley face, :), in place of a full stop. Various acronyms were also found in pupil's work. In a general test given to the children in the study, many gave the simple acronym "WTF" in answer to questions they presumably didn't understand.

"I dorn't knoo wot t' problem iz." Slurred mother Ms. Horrocks (17), "Wen I wuz at scoo-ul it dint matter if you cud rite proper coz they always had these assistants te elp ye out if ye got stuk. So wot if my Callum's puttin a smiley face at the end of 'is sentunces insted of a full stop. At least it shors e's a 'appy kid dunnit?"

In the study, x-rays of children's hands were taken and reveled that many of the children had damaged their thumbs beyond repair. Various tests also showed that some children were able to break through blocks of wood solely with the use of their thumb. The varying extremes were found to be from the use of different handsets. The new nokia designs were found to build muscle tissue far better than the bone-crunching Philips Savvy and Siemens C35 models.

Education Secretary Charles Clarke told TheSpoof, "We have been concerned by this ever increasing phenomenon for some time now. We feel that literacy curriculums should be changed to include modules to study text messaging, and show children how what they write in their messages relates to English."

A full investigation is hoped to follow.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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