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What Are You More Likely to Remember: A Facebook Update or a Jane Austen Quote?
  • "It was a wretched business, indeed. Such an overthrow of everything she had been wishing for! Such a development of everything most unwelcome! Such a blow for Harriet!—that was the worst of all."
  • "Damn, gonna have to make this up big-time for Harriet. Now watching a marathon of The Millionaire Matchmaker. Maybe I'll learn something."

Which line from before do you remember better? New research from the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Warwick says it should be the second version. Facebook updates are one and a half times more memorable than literary text (in this case, from Jane Austen's Emma). The reason: Facebook language is "mind ready"—i.e., easier to absorb—because it's how we talk.

[Listening Image: Sukhonosova Anastasia via Shutterstock]

A version of this article appeared in the May 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.