What Devices Do People Use to Maintain Brevity When 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. M & D.” The only abbreviations come in the sign off “M & D” – which stands for mum and dad. The fact the M comes first suggest the mum is the sender. The use of the & symbol is widely used in various forms of written communication and requires no specialist knowledge to unpick its meaning. When compared to Text 3 it’s easy to see how the age of the sender can make a big difference to the brevity techniques we can expect to find. My research shows that the single x as a sign off suggests the text is more likely from a female sender and it is clear she is asking her mother permission to visit a friend which suggests she is school age. The use of letter substitution and phonetic spelling in “2nite” is typical of this type of message and implies a level of informality as well as the assumption that Mum will be easily able to decode the message. The impact of brevity techniques becomes clear in Text 4: “watcha up 2?” “hd dbl English” and “Lol” all suggest a good working...
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