PsychNology Journal, Volume 12, Number 1-2, 29 – 43

Good Spellers Write more Textism than Bad Spellers in Instant Messaging: The Case of French

Tonia Lanchantin, Aurélie Simoës-Perlant, Pierre Largy
Université de Toulouse 2, Le Mirail, Toulouse,France


The increased use of digital writing has led to the emergence of a new form of communication between discourse and writing. We elaborated a research protocol to target the processes linked to the use of instant messaging to look for differences in the use of spelling modifications as a function of French students’ spelling levels. The task required students to use Digital Writing in Instant Messaging (DWIM) in a semi-natural situation. Analyses showed that modifications that may be confused with misspellings in traditional writing (i.e. substitutions like “sa” instead of “ça”) occurred more often than those that may not (e.g. reductions/ alterations like “chepa” instead of “je ne sais pas”), regardless of spelling level. These results show no impact of the use of DWIM on the quality of spelling (for good spellers only).

KEYWORDS: Instant messaging (textism), Teenagers, Spelling, Writing, Writing.

Lanchantin, T., Simoës-Perlant, A. and Largy, P. (2014). Good spellers write more textism than bad spellers in instant messaging: The case of French. PsychNology Journal, 12(1-2), 45 - 63. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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PsychNology Journal Volume 12, Number 1-2