College professors have lamented the state of student writing for centuries. But today’s Internet-obsessed culture brings new, infuriating errors to Writing 101 as students brazenly use colloquialisms like “:-)” and “LOL” in essays. “Occasionally, I've seen someone using the number 4 for the word 'for,'” a Cal State San Marcos professor tells the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Besides inappropriate lingo, professors say, students’ writing suffers because of a decline in quality reading: “I ask my creative writing students about what they've read over the summer, and I'm shocked when they say they've read no novels, no poems,” says a University of San Diego professor. “They're watching TV or movies or playing video games.”