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What devices do people use to maintain brevity whilst messaging ?

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´╗┐Text language has evolved rapidly over recent years with trillions of text messages sent each year. Until recently, text messages were relatively expensive to send and so users have developed various techniques to reduce the number of characters per text to ensure they are paying as little as possible. This report will investigate the effects of these devices with text messages as well as trying establish whether there is a link between the way people text and they way they speak. Finally, I will also explore some of the public attitudes to texting. The first thing I established when investigating text messages was that the brevity techniques varied depending on the purpose of the message and the relationship between sender and recipient. It also became clear that different age groups and genders text differently. Text 1 is a thank you sent by a mother to an adult child. In text message terms, it is relatively formal with both a salutation ?Hiya darling? and a sign off ?lots of love. ...read more.


Perhaps the device which communicates most is the emoticon. The sender uses the sad face symbol to show their feelings about the lesson they?ve had ? this is a very efficient way of communicating something quite complex and does the same job as facial expression would in a face to face conversation and tone of voice would in a telephone call. It also suggests a degree of collusion between sender and recipient ? maybe they have similar feelings about the lesson, maybe the sender is trying to curry favour or ?look cool?. The use of emoticons, while clearly maintaining brevity in the context of a text message, highlights one of the major problems with texting as a form of communication: it is easy to be misunderstood or misinterpreted. It is interesting therefore to see how much effort is put into making sure that these problems are avoided. This might suggest that more care and attention is put into a text message than other forms of communicating. The fact that face to face and telephone conversations can be ?read? or interpreted by the other party?s response mean that we don?t have to think as much about how to say what we want to say. ...read more.


The same is true of ?sooooooo lovely? and the multiple use of exclamation marks to signify excitement. These observations seem to suggest that many public concerns about texting are unfounded. The view expressed by John Humphrys in the Daily Mail that ?SMS vandals ? are doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to his neighbours? misses the point that text ?language? is merely an attempt to imitate existing speech. Humphrys warns of the danger of ?our written language [ending up] as a series of ridiculous emoticons and ever-changing abbreviations?. This views shows a lack of understanding of what text messages are actually for; ridiculing emoticons is equivalent to suggesting that facial expressions should not play a part in communication. To conclude, texting should be seen as a new and exciting form of speech and not as a bastardised form of writing. To criticise text language for making us bad spellers or as ruining the language is to misunderstand it completely. Some of the techniques that have evolved with text messaging have added to and enriched our spoken language. We should not feel any more threatened by this than we do by any other uses of slang words and expressions. ...read more.

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