b4, wat, dat, u and so on.
I have no doubt that using these shortcuts makes one able to type more in a shorter period of time. I'm sure that likewise, sticking a funnel down my throat would allow me to consume more vodka in a shorter period of time -- that doesn't necessarily mean it's an improvement.
What's even more disturbing is that some teachers seem to be supporting this movement.
“Some educators, like David Warlick, 54, of Raleigh, North Carolina, see the
young burgeoning band of instant messengers as a phenomenon that should be
celebrated. Teachers should credit their students with inventing a new language
ideal for communicating in a high-tech world, said Warlick, who has authored
three books on technology in the classroom.”
If my students invent a new language, then I probably will celebrate. But I won't be partying over the fact that people are too lazy to type an “h” to properly spell the word “what.” If you want to try a new language, go with Klingon. Though I'm not sure too many people will celebrate your accomplishments then, either. Just ask Ed U Cater.
Again, I don't have to worry too much about this from my third-graders. When they write for me, the misspellings are rampant, but completely unintentional.
I'll take a “Good jod!” over a “Wat up wid u?” any day.