Good English must pass two simple tests to be good.

Tested by RealityIt must be effective: it must accomplish  the #1 job of language, which is to be clearly understood.

It must be efficient: once clearing the first hurdle, it should be as short and concise as possible.

By these standards, texting – SMS message sending – is Good English, so long as one is communicating with people who understand “texting” shortcuts such as “lol” and “wtf.”

By the way, lol = Laughing Out Loud (indicating amusement); wtf = What The, plus a common 4-letter obscenity, indicating shock and surprise.

The problem with using “texting” in the course of normal conversation is one of effectiveness; unless the person you are speaking to is an internet geek, using shortcuts may lead to misunderstandings. Also, even geeks may balk (recoil, shun, abandon) at saying “lol” when talking to people in “rl” (Real Life; face to face, on the telephone, etc.). People who understand what these abbreviations mean in text may not understand them when spoken out loud.

Besides, these shortcuts are used in texting because they save time. When dealing with people in a polite, courteous manner for conversation, such as in Business English, this demonstrates you do not wish to spend the time to speak proper English to your employees, customers, and business partners. This is not effective use of English, even though it is hyper-efficient (efficient to the point of being ineffective/ not effective).

Therefore, the real test of Good English is simple.

“Can I use this in real life?!”

This is not a question that can be answered by standardized tests, particularly by tests such as TOEFL and the academic side of IELTS, which are intended for university environments. University environments, by necessity, use older, less modern, less current English. TOEIC uses English that is considered standard over a long period of time (years, decades). These are excellent for general proficiency tests.

For using English in real life, there is only one test: is your English effective and efficient in real life?

English is a language changing with every decade, every year, every month, every week, every day of continuous, global use. English does not belong to England alone, nor to the United States, Canada, nor Australia; it belongs to each and every person speaking English worldwide. This means that the language of globalization, the language of business, is constantly changing.

I am making a commitment here, today, right now, to bringing English to you that is real, modern, current, and of real, actual use to you in communicating in an effective and efficient way around the world.

We all need goals. This is mine.