Sms Is Corrupting Our Language

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Agree with the critic that “SMS is corrupting our language”.

The language is achieving new colours and tones in the world in which we live. Technology has become the buzzword in communication circles. The requirements in language versatility, which are universally understood, are overcome by the new short message service (SMS) language that is emerging rapidly. The cell phones that are conveniently used for social communication and in business transactions are invaluably helpful but can equally be extremely detrimental to the learning and development process of learners of other languages especially foreign language learning. The short message service (SMS) language that is used by cell phone users and the advertising industry has also been discovered to be abundantly used by the learners in their written work. This discovery has prompted one to investigate the impact of this prevalent use, for it is believed that the SMS language is influencing the language proficiency of learners in a negative way. The purpose of this paper is to explicate how the SMS language affects the language proficiency of learners, and the role dictionaries can play in the improvement of learners’ language proficiency.


The mobile phone is viewed as an important communication tool and has become an integral part of the Malaysian and global society. Malaysians are increasingly using the mobile phone rather than the fixed line telephone as a way to keep in touch with their family, friends, colleagues and business associates. The first mobile phone appeared in Malaysia in 1998 and was mainly used by professionals.

The first generation of the mobile phone was built with basic features such as voice call. The first concept of brainchild a handheld phone was demonstrated by Dr Martin Cooper a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola and with the help of his team. The first handset was born in April 1973 weighing in at two kilos. Just a few months later on March 6 1983, Motorola received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and become the world's first commercial handheld cellular phone. Motorola's DynaTAC 8000X is the first series when it was made available for purchase. The demand for these handsets were immense and in high demand. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X featured were limited to dial, listen and talk specs that included Total Area Coverage’ let you talk for 30 minutes, 10 hours to recharge, eight hours of standby time, LED display, memory to store thirty “dialing locations and a cool size of 13 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches. The price was some $3,995 in 1983 dollars. Motorola's DynaTAC 8000X phone and the cellular system behind it changed how the world communicates.

What is SMS? Short Message Service or SMS is a communications protocol which allows the intercommunication of short text messages among various mobile phones. SMS allows people to send or receive text messages of up to 160 characters from mobile phones. This technology was instrumental in the growth and advancement of text messaging. In fact, SMS is so closely identified with text messaging that in some parts of the world, “SMS” is used as the vernacular for text messaging (the act of composing, sending and receiving although with MMS, a different fundamental protocol is in use).

SMS messaging history began in the 1980s when telecommunication authorities started deliberating on the technical parameters of sending short messages through a network, between mobile phones. This would be the forefather of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). Some of the telecommunications experts advocated that SMS will be used mainly as an alert for individual mobile users – as an example, for incoming voice calls. Others envisioned more advanced considerations, such as telemetry.

The first ever short message sent commercially was by Airwide Solution’s an engineer called Neil Papworth, on the 3rd of...
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