Is "i" the New "I"?

A few weeks ago, I started teaching online courses for the winter semester including a university level academic writing course. To my horror, it appears that "i" is quickly replacing "I". Several emails that I received from students last week used the dreadful "i"!

Here is an example:

"i enrolled late in the course so can i have an extension?"

When I see students use "i" instead of "I", it is like hearing finger nails on a blackboard. What has happened? I can only assume that texting language is the culprit.

I reminded (or warned) students at the beginning of the course that I was an ESL teacher for 20 years so I rarely miss an error! I asked them not to use "i" for "I" but somehow it didn't seem to make much of a difference based on the emails I received over the weekend.

I have to say that the use of "i" is one of my writing pet peeves. I would love to hear from other teachers about how they are handling this.

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