Do you Punctuate Text Messages!?


Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Now, there are many people who claim they do fully punctuate text messages. For cutting a Dash, we asked people in the street if they used proper puncatuation when sending text messages, and were surprised when nine out of ten people said yes. Some of them said they used semicolons and parentheses and everything"

I was shocked when reading this statement. I found it very interesting that 9 out of 10 people said that they actually puctuate there text messages. This seems to not be the case when you hear about researchers and academic professionals conducting case studys. For example, students are using this "foreign" language on the writing portion of the SAT's. I believe that students should be able to switch from using, "What r u doin?" to proper English skills. When I thought about myself and text messaging, I fit right in with this survery. My girlfriend told me once that I seem to always spell words out and use commas and everything. I just said that it's habit and I am used to using proper English. I found this section to be very interesting and current.


I was shocked too. When text messaging, people want to get the message out as quickly as possible, being that it takes longer to send a message this way than to talk. Adding all of the proper grammar and punctuation takes extra time. I will admit that I fall into the category that does not take the time to properly punctuate text messages.

I do agree with you that people should be able to switch back and forth between the informal speech of text messaging to the more formal speech needed for most other forms of writing. It really isn't all that hard.

I loved this part of the book. I honestly don't believe that 9 out of 10 people punctuate properly in text messages. Sure I spell my words out and don't use terms such as lmao and ttyl, but I know that I do not use commas and I certainly do not use apostrophes. Can you imagine the time it would take while text messaging to put in every apostrophe? I take pride in my text messaging, because I try my hardest to form sentences and not totally lose my English skills, but I can't believe that people sit there and punch in "I'm going to go out with a group. Wouldn't that be a lot of fun?" NOPE, I just don't believe it!

Yes, I don't see the problem with shortening for texting purposes as long as you know when to turn the shorthand off. I am like you though Derek, I used to text a lot more in England (because unlike here it is a lot cheaper to text than to call someone so they are much more a texting culture, or at least they were when I left 2 years ago) and I would always fully write out words and punctuate properly. My boyfriend then used to get mad at me because it took me so long to send him messages back, at least at first because once you get used to it, it really doesn't take that much longer. But, as much as proper English is important to me, I am also stingy so I would write out almost all my messages to take up all the letters and then if I couldn't fit it in with all the words written out fully I would go back and shorten the you's to u's and so forth. That would take a long time, but I didn't want to spend an extra 8 pence to send a whole other message linked to the first. I am a dork I know.

I do not agree with the survey because approximately all the messages that I have received since I bought my mobile phone (eight years back) none of them were punctuated. Even in few cases the meaning of the message became ambiguous. However I am among those who try to punctuate and read the message twice before sending it. The logical reason for carrying this extra effort is, the person at the receiving end is not able to see your body language and your tone. In this case it becomes extremely important that your message conveys the meaning which you want to be conveyed. Now the biggest problem is that meaning of your message is clear in your mind and even without writing it you can understand what you want to write but the reader of your message is unaware of the message-meanings and therefore perceives the meaning according to his/her own environment and mood.
Punctuation is must where your message is only based on alphabets and body language and tone changes are not there to extend the support.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on March 18, 2007 4:17 PM.

Rhyming has a Literary Term!! was the previous entry in this blog.

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