A Conversation for Writing Text Messages


Post 1


Am I the only person that finds this method of communication absolutely disgusting? It's bad enough that every kid in a chatroom or message board seems to think being lazy is better than having a good grasp of English, but now the whole language is being shortened in everyday use.

I for one still send full sentences in text messages smiley - tongueout


Post 2

cafram - in the states.

I totally agree with you - I abhor it, although in messages where the numbers of characters are restricted I can see the point - *only* if it's a full message though! It's even worse when people do it in emails - you can write as much as you want, why make it look like another language when you ahve the ability to type proper sentances *including* (shock horror) punctation?! smiley - yikes

smiley - grr pet peeve #3 smiley - grr


Post 3

Researcher 197606

Be careful guys, it's only a small step from smilies to abrvtns smiley - winkeye

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Post 4

Super Shiny Sarah

No disrespect, but one of the most interesting things about human language is the way it can evolve and adapt to suit new situations. I agree completely that everybody should be taught to write "properly", but you don't have to stick to using that all the time. The diversity of language means we can have a million different versions for a million different activities and txt abbreviations are part of natural evolution.

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Post 5

Silly Willy

I also use full sentences in text messages. The shortening of words became useful for two reasons.

Firstly, (and may I say rather stupidly) the phone companys have imposed a length restriction on the length of text messages. So if you can make words shorter, you can fit more detail in a message.

Secondly, the first phones to introduce the capacity to send text messages required the author to press the same key a number of time to reach the right letter. However, thanks to T9 dictionaries this is no longer in use.

I therefore see believe that kids will turn back to spelling things correctly.
Incidently, before computers became widely popular a whole lot of educational professors waxed lyrical on how the television would lead the younger generation to forget how to read. And then the Internet came along.

smiley - silly

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Post 6

Silly Willy

Anyone who doesn't fully understand from my poor explanation what T9 is, should browse over to here: - http://www.t9.com/

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Post 7


T9 text is called 'predictive' on other phones, which makes much more sense. It does make it harder to send abbreviations, but as I get free texts, I don't care if I have to send 4 to get my message across. smiley - smiley

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Post 8

Researcher 33337

While i hate reading TXT talk, A language dies if it does not eveolve (See Latin, cornered by one group, never altered, died)

But look at it this way, at least its better than L33t

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Post 9

Smij - Formerly Jimster

But I don't agree this this *is* an evolution, it's devolution, going backwards almost to hieroglyphs and runes. Evolution in language is where words cross over from one language to the other (something France actually has laws *against*!). We can see that in the way American spellings (which are actually purer and more logical extentions of old English than many British-English speakers like to admit) has been adapted almost as "proper" English.


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Post 10

Silly Willy

Whoah there!

I'm as easy-going as the next man - provided he's a die-hard British-English fanatic).

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Post 11

Super Shiny Sarah

It *is* an evolution, although admittedly more of an evolution of use than of the language itself. Txt abbreviations are yet another example of how adaptable the human race is and in my opinion should not be supressed. In their place they're totally acceptable.

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Post 12

You can call me TC

I agree that it does rather grate on anyone who has learnt to spell properly and considers the use of words a minor art form.

The entry lacks, incidentally, (whoops, nearly wrote BTW there!) a section on the actual technique. There should be at least a brief paragraph of "How to do it". Even to the point of explaining that the message then appears on the display of your mobile phone, and the tediousness of getting the right letters. As for typing symbols such as $%&/(?=)@, I find this even more annoying than, say, typing the letters "at", "and", etc, because on one button you have about 20 symbols and if you go past you have to go all the way round again.

If I have anything to say that is going to take longer than 160 characters, I phone the person up. You only have to press one button that way!

Someone did a study recently in Germany, showing that kids are getting very agile and strong thumbs from all this texting they're doing.

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Post 13

Silly Willy

I absolutely agree with you, if you can't say it in 160 characters then you should be phoning. However it does get me a bit mad that I'm charged 10 pence to send 160 bytes of data. When it costs the lovely men in suits less than a pence a time.

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Post 14


i would have added a how to do it section in this entry, however, due to the fact that this entry isn't 'how to use a mobile phone' and there r so many different makes and variations, it would be very hard to include such a section. btw, if u r going through symbols and go just 1 too far, delete it then start over. this is much quicker then going all the way round again when it is the third or fourth 1.

spooksmiley - aliensmile

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Post 15


Actually, this reminds me of the telegraph. Since people were charged per word, I believe, they found ways to abbreviate their sentences to make the message cheaper. So instead of :

"I'm sorry, I can't meet you in Pittsburgh at the date you requested. Can we try next week in New York instead? Let me know if this works for you."

they would just send :


No one complained then that people were losing their English skills; it was understood that this was simply the most efficient form of speech when using the telegraph.

I think text messaging on cell phones is parallel: we abbreviate for speed and cost. It's not like people would write the cover letter to a job application that way. This just shows peoples' inventiveness and adaptibility to new technology.

smiley - star

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Post 16

Dazza Oxford

I absolutely agree that the culture for diminishing language so that it can fit into a more convenient message is a danger. Firstly it does absolutely nothing to encourage the use of learning new words for our young and old alike. Secondly, it has no contribution, and actually the opposite effect, of teaching people how to spell words correctly and diversify their vocabulary. And thirdly, do we want to live in a world where speed is the ever constant-rule and good old fashioned English is being replaced by 'buzz' words and management quick talk? I fear that our great heritage, from Shakespeare's genius writings to Churchill's poetic oratory, would have all looked the poorer if they had had to use such methods to communicate, and who would disagree with me that it certainly wouldn't be an improvement on their original versions?

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Post 17


u have to remember tho that methods of shortenings used in text messages can also be used when writing shorthand. when u r trying to make nites on somthing and u have a limited amount of time, the shortenings shown in this entry which r used when writing txt messages come to good use. ppl who do have a mobile phone and txt should be old enough to hae learnt how to spell already and txting simply helps them to write large amounts of information in a short space. the skills of shortening words in txt messages does not replace the english language, it adds to it. it is a useful technique i think all ppl should kno.

spooksmiley - aliensmilesmiley - football

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Post 18

Silly Willy

If only that were true, however it seems that in the primary school attached to my secondary school, kids without a mobile phone are in the minority.

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Post 19

Super Shiny Sarah

But they're at school, where they're learning to write standard English. Txting is a supplementary activity and nobody's requiring them to do it. There are no GCSEs in txting, but there are in English... shouldn't that be enough evidence that "real" English is still taken seriously and isn't being "overrun" by modern progress?

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Post 20

Silly Willy

I would be interested to know how much time is spent paying attention in English lessons, and how much is spent texting smiley - tongueout

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