Olivia: Our presentation will be looking at the connection between language and technology, specifically in the form of text messages. In October of 2000 the number of text messages sent in the UK was 647 million. By 2007, this number had reached 4,527 million. This number increases from month to month and text messaging has become a quick and easy way to communicate. Originally textspeak was only really associated with the younger generation but as mobile phones are becoming more and more of a necessity, textspeak has become a feature of adults’ language as well.
Lorna: Textspeak is the language used by those sending text messages on a mobile phone. It often includes the use of slang and abbreviations. Three features of early mobile phone messaging encouraged users to use abbreviations. Firstly, text entry was difficult, requiring multiple key presses on a small keypad to generate each letter. Also, messages were limited to 160 characters, and thirdly, it made texting faster.
Olivia: Textspeak is created in many ways. David Crystal outlines the common ways in his book, ‘A Glossary of Netspeak and Textspeak. Vowel omission is the leaving out of vowel sounds. Homophonic representation is the use of single letters and numbers to represent words based on a similarity in sound. Phonetic spelling is a spelling that represents the sound of a word rather than its conventional spelling. Initialism is an abbreviation that uses the first letter of a group of words and is pronounced as individual letters. Acronymy is the process of abbreviating that uses the first letter of a group of words. It is different from Initialism because it is pronounced as a single word. Then, variant spelling is the deliberate use of non-standard spelling.
Lorna: Many abbreviations in textspeak are hybrids. This means that they are a mixture of two or more of the features of textspeak just mentioned. For example the abbreviation ttul8tr (talk to you later) is a blend of an initialism and homophonic representation.
Olivia: The register of text messages all depends on the context. For example, the way you text your friends may be