Does Texting Affect Your Spelling?

\"TextDoes texting affect your spelling especially when you use a lot of abbreviations or text speak? This seems like a perpetual question.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about how text messaging will be outdated soon and then I read this article from The Telegraph saying that text messaging \”improves children\’s spelling skills\”. The article is about a research performed by academics who dedicate a lot of time in research. Despite this fact, I found myself scratching my head after reading the article.

Notice the quotes in the article? I think that even the editor of  The Telegraph somewhat disagree with the notion that SMS helps children do better on spelling. There are many researches on this subject and you can find related articles in The Telegraph website.

There were similar researches conducted by Coventry University way back in 2006 that links texting to high literacy skills saying that there was \”no evidence\” that text speak may harm children literacy skills. The University of Toronto report produced similar result when they researched about instant messaging.

In addition, University of Alberta carried a study in 2009 which somehow explains the missing link:

\”Kids who are good spellers [academically] are good spellers in instant messaging…. and kids who are poor spellers in English class are poor spellers in instant messaging.\”

The study carried out by University of Alberta was done in a relatively small sample of only 40 students so further tests might be needed to verify the initial result.

Now, here is my opinion. I respect all the time and effort these academics put into their researches but somehow none of these researches clearly explains the link between texting and improving children\’s spelling. Take note that instant messaging is somewhat similar to text messaging but in a phone you are constrained to 140 characters most of the time, and not long ago qwerty keyboards on phones are not popular, so you are likely to make abbreviations more often using keypads compared to typing instant messages when you have access to a full-sized keyboard.

My wife is an English language teacher and I can attest that this is not accurate in the Philippines. The conclusion of the researches I mentioned above also stirred people to call some of these researches BS and I understand them because it is common to find text message slang not only in school work today but also in the office, online communities and mainstream media. I don\’t know how big the problem is in other countries but here in the Philippines, we saw the rise of Jejemon last year and it is not something I can be proud of.

This is a public service announcement: text messaging may stick a little longer so I strongly suggest to practice correct grammar and spelling when possible.

To wrap it up, maybe the universities conducting researches on this subject could mash-up their data and find the correlation among spelling mistakes, the IQ of the students, innate spelling abilities of the sample and the frequency of their text abbreviations. Then maybe we could have a definitive result on this subject to find the link between texting and spelling proficiency, and stop the debate once and for all.

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Welcoming 2011

\"\"Year 2010 was special for me because it introduced a lot of new things in my life which created a whole new experience for me. I learned a lot as I ventured into different things: I revived a business, tried full-time freelancing, studied Forex, rekindled old friendships, tested my faith, married, resurrected my blog, and more.

There were great challenges along the way and I thought that I have bitten more than I could chew. It wasn’t easy but I managed to fix my priorities. I could have easily given up on my goals but I chose to thrive during times of adversity. It paid off.

Henry Ford once said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Everyone encounters problem and it is up to you on how you will interpret it. Will you let them break you or make you a better person? Without problems, we will not be able to discover ourselves and fly high on top of them.

Another year had passed and great opportunity awaits. I have different projects in the pipeline and I am excited how things will unfold. There are lots of things to write about. Business is thriving and I am also going to be a father soon! There’s so much more to expect this year.

Happy New Year and welcome to a new decade!

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My First Dropped Domain

At first I was hesitant if I would be able to capture an expiring domain name because it is a highly competitive market. I have been using back orders to secure several expiring domain names before but I have failed numerous times already. However, after doing some research I was able to capture my first dropped domain name. It was a fantastic experience and I love doing it again when the opportunity comes.

\"\"Snatching an expiring domain name is not easy. There are domain squatters, professional domainers, internet marketers and branding agencies looking for high valuable domain names. In my research I found the story of Mike Davidson in Mike Industries very helpful in gauging the competition surrounding this market.  You have to be smart, fast in making decision and more importantly, tactical. If you don\’t have any plans in mind and you rely only in one single resource, you are placing all your eggs in one basket. Not good.

I was in a tight budget when I got my first expired domains and I thought that you don\’t have to spend so much just to buy a good expiring domain name. You just have to make use of the best tools around to monitor competition. That way, you won\’t overbid and you won\’t be stressed needlessly.

I\’ll write a new post once I am able to complete my next dropped domain name registration. Since I am doing this part-time, it might take some time. Feel free to look around and give me your feedbacks.

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When Lent Items Are Returned Broken

I\’m terribly annoyed when a borrower returns my stuff broken. They could have been more careful. Even worse, I have encountered some borrowers who didn\’t tell me they have broken my stuff while on their possession — and still claim they didn\’t break it even if they were the last person who used it. What a shame. I admit that I have broken some things I borrowed from my friends and my relatives in the past; however, before I returned the broken items, I tell them the truth no matter what the consequences were. It\’s my fault after all. Some people however, prefer keeping their dirty little secrets and claim that they returned the borrowed item in perfect working condition. When the hapless owner is about to use the borrowed item already, he or she will be utterly surprised that it was broken. It\’s a pity, really.

Here are the things that I suggest you do when someone want to borrow your belongings, whether at school, office or neighborhood:

  1. Lend your belongings to trusted person only. When you have doubts, get a collateral (just like what most lending companies do)
  2. When the person borrowing has no collateral and you don\’t trust the shit out of him, but you still want to act like a good Samaritan — pray hard that he will even bother caring for your stuff. Don\’t expect he will even care. Actually, you shouldn\’t be expecting anything in return since you\’re a good Samaritan.
  3. Be selective. Don\’t lend anyone who has a reputation for being irresponsible. It\’s harsh but you rather be selfish so you don\’t have to worry about your things being broken.
  4. Whenever you decide to lend your belongings, always test the item before lending it to the borrower. Then, after the borrower return your stuff, test it again in front of him to check that your stuff is still in good condition. This acts as a proof that the item works fine when you lend it and when you received it back.
  5. Finally, when you discover that the borrowed item was broken, tell the last borrower right away. It\’s better when you work on #4 so you can act sooner. You certainly don\’t want that person to get away so easily. As much as possible, make a bold statement that you lent the item in good condition and pressure him to act responsibly to the problem. In the end, you don\’t want to compromise your belonging just because it was returned broken. When you let that happen, you\’re being too kind or just dumb.

There are a handful of good Samaritans out there willing to lend you their stuffs whenever possible. However, not all of us are meant to be good Samaritans. I tried being a good Samaritan before. It initially feels good. When people begin abusing your goodwill you start to realize that lending whatever-you-have is not always a good idea. You have to set boundaries.

You have to be practical. Otherwise, leechers will simply suck the very last marrow out of your bone until you have nothing.

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One Week After Milenyo

Typhoon Milenyon, also known internationally as Xangsane, have brought Metro Manila, including nearby provinces, down to its knees. Many people have suffered the onslaught of Milenyo due to its unexpected strength. Many were caught by surprise as the strong wind surge Milenyo brought torn down many billboards, uprooted countless trees and even overturned trucks. The damage was so devastating that even I could not believe my own eyes.

I had witnessed super Typhoon Rosing 11 years ago and Milenyo is not really that strong compared to it, yet, Milenyo managed to cause wide scale damage comparable to Rosing not only in Metro Manila but also in the provinces that Milenyo passed by.

I have counted the battered billboards from Alabang to Makati via SLEX. Along the west service road, I counted 15 and 8 along east service road. Most billboards were twisted, mangled and toppled like scrap metals ready for junk shop. It is disturbing how these billboards caused structural damages to the nearby buildings and houses. Some houses were flattened while the stronger buildings survived. The sight of the billboard which used to advertise Pancake house in the middle of Skyway-EDSA-Magallanes is just stunning — in a dreadful way. Everytime I look at it, I get chills down my spine. Most of the big trees in Filinvest Alabang seemed to be cut down to serve as firewood. It\’s a pity that many trees didn\’t survive Milenyo. It\’s also NOT typical to see flying corrugated iron roof in our place but I saw several taking off from our neighbor\’s house.

Apart from its immediate effect such as suspension of classes and work, cancellation of flight and sea travel, Milenyo also caused blackout in Luzon. Fallen trees, posts and billboards contributed much of the power disruption. Our area was unlucky because we didn\’t have electricity for 4 whole days. It was a torture and test of patience.

Some lessons and revelations that I learned from Milenyo:

  1. Huge billboards along the road or near buildings are VERY dangerous especially with the tarpaulin or canvass on it.
  2. Having a fully-charged cellphone and spare battery helps a lot in times of calamity
  3. Battery-powered radios are cool
  4. My office is my second home. Thanks to the generator.
  5. Scrabble is the best family game to waste your time on
  6. My PC is useless without electricity (duh!)
  7. Without electricity, I go to bed 3 to 5 hours earlier

:)

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Challenge After Graduation

Yesterday was my graduation march and it is one of the most special day for my parents. All their sweat and tears didn\’t go to waste after all. Now I need to return the favor to my parents. I graduated with honors! Oh, really?! I won\’t elaborate much about it. I\’m just happy to get one. Btw, the keynote speech was really inspiring. It removed my doubt as a fresh graduate. Age is all the advantage I have right now; being young means I can do more things to improve myself and there will always be room for improvement.

Today, I officially entered the workforce — my first job. I attended the orientation, mingled with other new hires, chatted with complete strangers in the office and listened intently to my superiors. I know it will be hard to shine because I am surrounded by talented people — it is a challenge to work harder. All employees are members of one big family. My boss actually feels like a big sister to me and my team mates are about my age. We are like brothers. The true competition here is among me, myself and I.

As quoted in the keynote speech yesterday, Today\’s excellence is tomorrow\’s mediocrity. Very true.

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Company Secrets

I realized that there are so many things in the IT industry that are intentionally left in gray areas. That includes list of clients, systems infrastructure, softwares, and other technologies. That\’s not new. Everyone who have taken economics 101 should know that trade secrets are very important to have an edge to competitors and protect the company from prying eyes. It\’s also discussed in professional ethics. However, having just exposed myself to the real working environment, I just realized how serious IT companies are in hiding secrets. I\’m talking about IT companies in the Philippines in general but this should apply to all companies.

One thing that strikes me is the 10 things that companies should be monitoring in the web as suggested by Pronet Advertising. What disturbs me are #6, #7 and #8 in the list. Others are pretty obvious. This should be a warning to all employees out there who leak information about their company\’s secrets carelessly.

Pronet mentioned about the industry \”hang outs\” which includes blogs, message boards and review sites. Be aware that popular message boards like pinoyexchange.com, tipidpc.com and MMORPG forums are most probably included in A-list of industry hang-outs in the Philippines.

Employee blogs are probably monitored by employers as well. If you are not aware, some people are sued because of what they type in their blogs. Scary? Not really. Just be sure to double check that all your statements are not libelous. If you want to be extra careful, do not even mention anything work-related in your blog at all especially if it is too sensitive to be published in web, let alone in your personal blog. IMHO, these things are better left in your conventional [paper] diary, not blog.

Social network is both a blessing and a curse. For instance, any member of friendster.com and myspace.com could easily search members of the entire social network. Companies can easily track your profile and conversations with other people. When you leave comments to other people\’s blog you sometime leave a link to your personal blog. That\’s aweful if the company can aggregate these information and found out that you are leaking out company secrets that are not meant to be revealed. Call me paranoid but these are all possible.

If there\’s anything you can do to totally conceal your identity in the internet, then do not create a personal blog to hide yourself in the obscurity. Do not reveal your name easily. Do not give out personal information in the public. Plain and simple. I can continue discussing the probability that some companies are monitoring their employees\’ activities but there are so many things you can do in the internet that these companies are probably not aware of your activities yet. However, they may find out your blunder in the end and you might lose your job.

You can argue that these are all invasion of privacy. However, the moment you use the internet, privacy becomes a gray matter as well. To avoid any repercussions, be discreet and professional in the web. Know your limitation and use your knowledge wisely.

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