Found this quite fascinating: What can we learn from children's writing?
A BBC Radio 2 short story competition aimed at children up to the age of 13 has had 90,000 entries. It's an exercise in creativity but the words they used have also been put into a database which gives us an insight into the way they think.
There's also a database of adult stories, which have been used to compare in places.
The main finding have been:
- Mums feature much more than dads
- Kids use similes like the Devil counts rice (- a lot)
- Kids invent an infidefinable number of new words
- Boys like cars (as if we didn't know)
- Txt spk iz not taking over the world lol
- Short words cause moor spelling upsets than longer ones
- Cats are less interesting than dogs, dragons or monsters
- As we grow up, time machines, space ships, and tree houses lose out to car parks and kitchen sinks, however ice-cream unites us all
It's the second year they've run this study and it will be interesting to see how things stand next year. It's nice to see some concrete proof that computer games and technology haven't negated the basic childhood thirst for fantasy and adventure. Thankfully, it has made it easier to type and spell-check your stories, whatever age you are.