Popularity of Short Message Service (Sms) Usage & Its Effect on Written Language Deterioration

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Communication technology is changing our way of life. Language is no exception. Some language researchers argue that written language is deteriorating due to the increase usage of electronic communication. The present study investigated 50 mobile phone users selected randomly using Short Messaging Service (SMS) as one of their daily communication tools with the purpose to find out whether SMS language will cause written language deterioration in Malaysia. SMS language is defined as using abbreviations, newly created words, code-switching, code-mixing and emoticons in the messages. The findings indicated that the majority of the respondents agree that SMS language causes written language deterioration. This could be because messages are full of spoken-like spelling, unconventional use of punctuation and abbreviations, and ungrammatical sentence in order to conform to the conditions of electronic communication to reduce space, time and effort. Although the language change due to the advancements in electronic communication technology is inevitable, we have to bear in mind that the negative impact on the written language has to do with the technology users not the technology itself.

What is communication? Communication is a process of transferring information whereby information is enclosed in a package and is channeled and imparted by a sender to a receiver using a channel (Wikipedia). In recent years, mobile phone has been viewed as an important communication tool and has become an integral part of the Malaysian society. Nowadays, it is very common to see Malaysians chatting or texting on their mobile phones in the streets, in the shopping malls, while waiting for public transportations to the point that the mobile phone has become an essential item to some people especially the younger generation. The mobile phone first appeared in Malaysia in 1998 and was mainly used by professionals. It was bulky, expensive, and built with...
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