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texting

Txtng: the Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Definition:

The process of sending and receiving brief written messages using a cellular (mobile) phone.

See also:

Examples and Observations:

  • "According to a survey conducted in the summer of 2009 by CTIA-The Wireless Association, more than 740 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. during the first half of 2009--nearly double the number from the same period last year."
    (CTIA Press Release, October 7, 2009)


  • "All the popular beliefs about texting are wrong, or at least debatable. Its graphic distinctiveness is not a totally new phenomenon. Nor is its use restricted to the young generation. There is increasing evidence that it helps rather than hinders literacy. And only a very tiny part of the language uses its distinctive orthography."
    (David Crystal, Txtng: the Gr8 Db8. Oxford Univ. Press, 2008)


  • "[A]bbreviations, acronyms, and emoticons are less prevalent in American college student IM [Instant Messaging] conversations than suggested by the popular press. To move beyond media hyperbole regarding text messaging, we need corpus-based analyses of texting. . . .

    "Judging from our sample, American college-student text messaging and IM differed in several interesting ways. Text messages were consistently longer and contained more sentences, probably resulting from both cost factors and the tendency for IM conversations to be chunked into sequences of short messages. Text messages contained many more abbreviations than IMs, but even the number in texting was small."
    (Naomi Baron, Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World. Oxford Univ. Press, 2008)


  • "For teenagers now, . . . texting has been largely superseded by instant messaging--as Stephanie Lipman, a 17-year-old Londoner, explains. 'I did text for a while, but instant messaging is so much better-- like a constant stream-of-consciousness. You don't have to bother with "Hello. How are you?" or any of that. You just have this series of conversations with your friends which you can add on to when you're in the mood.'"
    (James Delingpole, "Texting Is So Last Year." Daily Telegraph, Jan. 17, 2010)


  • Textspeak in the 19th Century
    This S A, until U I C
    I pray U 2 X Q's
    And do not burn in F E G
    My young and wayward muse.

    Now fare U well, dear K T J,
    I trust that U R true--
    When this U C, then you can say,
    A S A I O U.
    (Final verses of "Essay to Miss Catharine Jay" in Gleanings From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, Science and Art: A Melange of Excerpta, Curious, Humorous, and Instructive, 2nd ed., "collated" by Charles Carroll Bombaugh. Baltimore: T. Newton Kurtz, 1860)
Also Known As: text messaging, mobile messaging, short mail, point-to-point short-message service, SMSing
Alternate Spellings: txting
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