Horrible Grammar in Text Messages Could Be a Sign of a Stroke

Illustration for article titled Horrible Grammar in Text Messages Could Be a Sign of a Stroke

In the rankings of where you need to use proper grammar and spelling and sentence structure, text messages has to be in the neighborhood of last place. Right next to YouTube comments. It's because texts are a mindless quick shot 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 though is this bit from the NY 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 NY Times. [NY Times]



Maybe a bit similar, but when my blood sugar begins dropping (type 1 diabetic), my family can tell almost instantly if I'm texting. I'm normally very clear and don't use any "texting speak." The texts become disjointed, one-worded, and misspelled. Autocorrect on my iPhone will produce a lot of unintelligible dribble.

Although I guess that's true for drunk people too, as it's been described to me as drunk texting before.