By technology reporter Ariel Bogle.
Sometimes a full stop in a text is simply the end of a sentence. Other times, it can signify crossed wires, an angry boyfriend or a pile of dirty dishes left in the sink. And it has been 25 years of anxiety about what we text and whether it is changing how we communicate.
Is an exclamation point too friendly or just right? Is "text speak" the reason why your year-old will never write like Shakespeare? He sent what is believed to be the first-ever text message from a big, draughty switch room in the UK to a Vodafone Christmas party on December 3, At the time, he was a year-old engineer. Since that December, the informal language of the SMS and other digital platforms has become a social concern, especially for its effect on kids.
Nenagh Kemp, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Tasmania, studied the effect of text messaging on grammar. Try to Download directly Press play then disable your screen reader.
Use space bar to pause or play, and up and down arrows to control volume. Use left arrow to rewind and right arrow to fast forward. She tested UK primary school, high school and university students to see if grammatical violations made when text messaging impacted their ability to know and use correct grammar in other circumstances.
Instead, Dr Kemp suggested, people who are confident with spelling and grammar may be more expert in interpreting new ways of ways of writing, from the shortening of words to emoji.
We asked if you were concerned about the impact of informal language used in digital platforms. Adults may be anxious about the words children use in texts because it leaves them out. It hides meaning they cannot immediately interpret. This is a common experience: That's even more complicated.
This When was the first text message sent exists because when we text, we miss social cues we might receive when speaking with someone in-person or by phone: These are emotional embellishments — say, the emoji with love hearts for eyes, three exclamation points in a row or exaggerated spelling. Professor Klin was part of a study that gave university students text messages that ended in a one-word response, with or without a full stop. Language typically changes slowly, but within text speak, certain modes of communication have gone in and out of fashion at breakneck speed.
While you still don't see much text speak in the newspaper, she suggested its influence would only grow beyond the confines of the messaging app.
We cannot stop language's evolution. WhatsApp is an encrypted messaging service.
Do you know how encryption actually works? We're here to help.
Some literary traditions may be left behind to gather dust in the dial-up era — Dr Kemp believes the apostrophe is not long for this world. As for Mr Papworth, the original texter, the significance of his message was not immediately clear. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC.
ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow. Space Nature Humans Technology Programs. Remember the Nokia ? The text message character limit made users get creative.
It is 25 years today since the first text message was sent to a mobile phone. Neil Papworth is the person who inadvertently helped start this language revolution. What's it doing to the kidz??? Will a generation emerge, raised on the smartphone, that can't tell "ur" from "your?
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Got a news tip? Editorial Policies Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow. The first text message was sent 25 years ago but how has it changed since? Do people still text? Or do messaging apps dominate.
We don't want to make you feel old but it has been 25 years since the first text message was sent.