Text spelling

Mi5 Mick   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 07:29 GMT
According to "Mxsmanic" 99.99999% of all English speakers have never heard of text messaging and never will. Let's see... a few dozen people in 500 million may have heard of text messaging in the last 10 years? How many people do you think haven't seen TV or a movie?

I couldn't be bothered looking up any stats, but forget our microcosms, it still doesn't make any sense.
Damian   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 07:45 GMT
Text messaging must be something that just I and my mates do then! Amazing! Gr8 to know we are such an unusal lot! Wow!

PS: All those people I see around all the time...tapping into their mob phones....what the **** would they be doing then? Checking their lottery numbers?

Mxsmanic: I respect you lots but your theory is way out..soz!
Mi5 Mick   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 08:23 GMT
OK I'm guilty! I did bother to Google it because I think Mxsmanic enjoys astounding us with these kooky ideas ;)

"...Consider that since 2000 the number of cell phone users in the U.S. has grown 29 percent, to more than 140 million.... "

Mxsmanic   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 16:01 GMT
Only a small fraction of people with portable phones use text messaging with those phones. Most people who have them use them only for voice communication. Quite a few people never use them at all. And of course most people in the world don't have any phones at all.
mjd   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 17:22 GMT

I'm agreeing with you in that I don't believe text messaging is going to radically alter the English language. However, cell phones are everywhere....modern communication impacts not only those who use specific communication devices, but society as a whole (commercials on TV advertising cell phones and text messaging, for example....The popular "where you at" phrase is well-known now....and not only to those who own cell phones).

MXsmanic said: "Only a small fraction of people with portable phones use text messaging with those phones. Most people who have them use them only for voice communication. Quite a few people never use them at all. And of course MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD don't have any phones at all."

Sure, but you were originally talking about English-speaking countries. Given the large percentage of cell phone users and their high visibility in society (I think Europe even has the U.S. beat on cell phone users...although not by much), the fact that not everyone owns one doesn't really matter. I have a cell phone, albeit an outdated one, and I don't have text messaging, nor have I ever even sent one. I am, however, familiar with it and "text speak." The population of cell phone users might be 30%, but they're visible and influence others.
Mxsmanic   Saturday, September 18, 2004, 18:22 GMT
Even in English-speaking countries, not everyone has a cell phone, or a fixed phone for that matter. Remember, there are many native English speakers in India.

I haven't heard the phrase "where you at," except on rare occasions from the mouths of the illiterate and uneducated. I suppose I spend too much time on the right side of the tracks.

The number of people who speak English, have a cell phone, and use text messaging with any regularity is very small compared to the overall population. I don't expect that text messaging will have any lasting effect on anything. It's a lot like CB radio or online chat; indeed, the same kinds of people seem to be attracted to it.
Mi5 Mick   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 03:03 GMT
LOL very amusing Mxmanix... lay on the excuses and deviations! You're digging a lot deeper and now looking to developing countries for reprieve.

Would we expect substantial technological infrastructure in third word countries? Of course not. Most of the mobile phone stats would be restricted to the middle- or upper-class echelons of India. The rest of the population would be too poor and uneducated to know any English!
Mi5 Mick   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 03:14 GMT
The figures are significant, so much so that they do affect your microcosm of the world. In developed countries, most people own a mobile phone.

"Experts estimate that by 2005 there will be over 1.26 BILLION wireless telephone users worldwide."

"Text messages -- essentially instant e-mail sent by cell phone -- are growing in popularity. Major U.S. wireless companies began offering messaging service to subscribers in 2002. Usage is expected to mushroom to 47 million users in 2004, with much of the growth fueled by young people."

Be aware!
Random Chappie   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 07:09 GMT
I'm not sure about this, please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't text messages charged per character, just like telegraph and telex messages? If they are, then it would make sense for SMS users to abbreviate, wouldn't it?

According to what I've heard, text messaging is more popular in Europe and Asia than in the US. Almost all the young people in Beijing and Shanghai are avid text-message senders.
Damian   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 07:40 GMT
I can't understand where Mxsmanic is coming from.....texting is universal...it's all around, mate...I know it's sad from the point of view of maintaining good standards of English but..hell!...it's just a means of quick techno communication and so many people use it for convenience and anybody with a microdot of intelligence knows how to distinguish between texting and "proper English.

Having said that, I have mentioned the fact that (here in the UK anyway) there has been a tendency for students to use text abbreviations in their notes and even in their exam papers. This does not go down too well in some quarters, but it just illustrates the popularity of the use of sms quick communication with other people without actual chat which may not be appropriate at the time. If you don't know when NOT to use txtspeak then you need counselling.

My system charges by the individual text message which allows only a certain number of characters per message...so it mks snse 2 abbrv8 a msg ok?
Mi5 Mick   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 08:01 GMT
There's no need to apologise for recluses. That's what happens to people who cut themselves off from society and mainstream language, eg: " I haven't heard the phrase "where you at" ": in the case of an American.

Random Chappie,
I pay per SMS message (160 character space) which is cheaper than a voice call. As far as I know, it's the same for all texting systems.
Mxsmanic   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 10:11 GMT
Time will tell. You can't imagine how many times I've heard people say something is "sweeping the world" or "universal" only for it to disappear a few years later.
Mi5 Mick   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 12:53 GMT
I don't see its universality dying down any time soon. Telco companies have invested too much $$money and extravagant resources in their products, the infrastructure and marketing. Think of all the comms towers you see and orbiting satellites for near-complete coverage of the globe.
Sanja   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 14:24 GMT
It would take me longer to type a message with abbreviations than with the whole words...LOL, honestly. And believe or not, even here in Bosnia most young people have mobile phones and use text messaging. I don't have it yet though.
Damian   Sunday, September 19, 2004, 15:01 GMT
<<I don't have it yet though>>

its only mttr tme b4 ur txtng alng wiv rst of us Sanja blve me! ;-)

It's mainly about cutting out unnecessary vowels and you can get the meaning immediately from the general drift of the message. There are accepted standard abbreviations in use here in UK too.