How txt spk is now a pain n d neck
TO THE uninitiated, "2G2B4G" may look like a personalised number plate, but in fact it is text-speak for "too good to be forgotten".
Millions of text messages are sent every day, but new research shows many Britons are exasperated by being bombarded with bizarre acronyms in modern slang.
A study reveals that eight out of ten people say they cannot understand some of the messages they receive.
Even among the young, the shorthand proves indecipherable for four in ten under the age of 24.
The research found an overwhelming 76 per cent of Britons admit to using abbreviations and text slang, but hate receiving it. Most people (71 per cent) would prefer a properly written text message.
Paul Cockerton, of the text question and answer service AQA 63336, which surveyed 2,400 adults, said: "We understand that speed often comes first when sending messages, but clarity comes from the careful use of language.
"That's why, while most people can understand most text-speak, we never use it in our answers. Instead we pay careful attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar. It doesn't take much longer, and it's better for the recipient."
Professor Christian Kay, an expert in the development of language at the University of Glasgow, said text messages were limited in what they could convey.
"I think that when texting first appeared young people took it as a new way of conversing which could exclude people who weren't in on the scene," Prof Kay said.
"At the time this was quite interesting, because we were being told that the written language was going to disappear.
"But after an initial burst of enthusiasm we are at the stage where texting either has to develop or fade away."
She added: "It has reduced everything to a very basic language, which doesn't leave room to convey the nuance of a word.
"In many ways it has run out of interesting things to say, which limits interpretation, which leads to misunderstandings," Prof Kay said.
Britons have become the most prolific texters in Europe.
However, one recent study by Coventry University found that text-speak, rather than harming literacy, could have a positive effect on the way young people interact with language.
Other reports have produced similar results. Research from the University of Toronto into how teenagers use instant messaging found that it had a positive effect on their command of language.
The Mobile Data Association said Britons sent a total of 78.9 billion texts last year – 216 million a day. Overall, multimedia messaging went up by 23 per cent last year (2008), from 449 million in 2007 to 553 million 12 months later.
• Monsignor Benito Cocchi, the bishop of Modena, in northern Italy, wants Catholics to give up texting for Lent.
He said it would allow young people to "detox" from the virtual world and get back in touch with themselves".
GET YOUR FINGERS OUT
THESE are the top 10 most hated text and e-mail phrases. But what do they stand for? Try our quiz to test your texting knowledge. (Beware, it's a toughie). Answers below.
1 Talk to you later
2 Rolling on the floor laughing
3 Can't stop thinking about you
4 At the end of the day
5 Ta-ta for now
6 In my humble opinion
7 Chat with you later
8 Don't quote me on this
9 Too good to be forgotten
10 Actually laughing out loud
0-2: U R a Luddite.
3-6: Good, but you need a little textual healing.
7-10: A bona fide text maniac – get a life.
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