"About half said they sometimes omitted proper punctuation and capitalization in schoolwork. A quarter said they had used emoticons like smiley faces. About a third said they had used text shortcuts like "LOL" for "laugh out loud."
In Tamar Lewin's article Lewin discusses how today's online language is affecting student's schoolwork. I found it interesting that some students, as discussed in the quote above, have caught themselves putting inappropriate punctuation and language in their schoolwork because of their exposure to the more informal writing found in text messaging, instant messaging, etc.
In my experience and understanding with the evolution and history of language, generation by generation there are changes that take place. When looking at the transition from Old English to Middle English to Early Modern English and so on, there are constantly new rules and new jargin that change and evolve the language. This phenomenon that is taking place with new online language is a result of the search for the quickest and most convenient way to communicate to others. From this, the language is once again changing in correspondence with society's changes and therefore many of these new habits and techniques such as emoticons, or "LOL"s may eventually become accepted and thought proper in our professional writing.