In the rankings of where you need to use proper grammar and spelling, text messages has to be in the neighbourhood of last place. It’s because texts are a mindless, quick, short form of communication. But maybe writing poor word-vomit texts points to something larger… like having a stroke. That’s what some doctors have found. And they’re calling it dystexia.
Doctors in Detroit have found a 40-year-old man who has no problem in reading, writing or comprehending language but suffers from dystexia. His text messages make no sense! He messaged “Oh baby your” but followed it up with “I am happy”. The next day he couldn’t convey his thoughts and spoke abnormally, and doctors discovered that he had suffered a mild ischemic stroke.
What’s fascinating is this bit from the New York Times:
Another doctor handed the man a smartphone and asked him to type a text message with the sentence, “The doctor needs a new BlackBerry.”
“She said, ‘Type this exactly how I’m saying it, and don’t make any abbreviations or anything,'” Dr. Kaskar said.
In response, the man typed, “Tjhe Doctor nddds a new bb.”
When asked if the sentence looked correct, the man said he could not see anything wrong with it.
As doctors found a lesion in his brain’s Broca’s area, they’re speculating that the Broca’s area might be the part of the brain that handles texting. The man who suffered the stroke went through other language tests and doctors couldn’t find any deficit in comprehension, his only problem was texting. So maybe we have a part of our brain that treats texting as a new form of language. And maybe poor texting could eventually become a stroke symptom. Read more about it at the New York Times. [NYT]