Use of SMS Lingo

When you have a limited length of 160 characters to stick to, it is indeed justified to text your colleague,

“see u at XYZ restro at 6pm. wil discus d rprt u hd mntiond.” instead of

“See you at XYZ restaurant at 6pm. We will discuss the report you had mentioned.”

Using scrunched language in mobile text messages due to shortage of space & time is termed ‘SMS lingo’. In this lingo, generally vowels are eliminated (report -> rprt), letters are used instead of words where possible (you -> u, why -> y) & repetitive letters are eliminated (possible -> psbl).

The point of concern here is, do you use SMS lingo for emails & reports?

I have seen people using this language in emails, reports, for that matter, even on their LinkedIn profiles, online discussions. It is indeed strange & also unjustified that people use this language even though there is no limitation of space. At times, I think people are so accustomed to using this language that they just cannot help it! It is relatively easier & less time consuming to write shorter words, but in that process, the person is underrating the importance of using full words at that place.

What impression would this create?

Using short forms, abbreviations and scrunched language where not required gives an impression that the person does not give attention to details & is generally in a hurry. Or he is person with a very casual approach towards important things like official emails and professional discussions.

On the contrary, there is a light of hope when I see organizations, technology enthusiasts, artists and some sincere bloggers using full words even in a limited space of 140 characters on Twitter. I think they respect the language & give importance to the essence of what their tweets convey.

That is how it should be, a language deserves respect due its power to encode our ideas & the ability it gives the receiver to decode them!


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