How texting changed communication


As it’s National Punctuation Day (something we’re sure is marked in all of your calendars), we’re taking a look at how texting has changed the way we communic8.
How texting changed communication

Back in 1995, the average mobile phone user was sending around one text message every two months.

Fast forward to today, and worldwide there are over 20 billion text messages sent every day. If you include WhatsApp messages in that number, it rises to 50 billion a day.

Whichever way you stack it, that’s a huge amount of digital waffle.

Its comes as no surprise then, that in the years since text messaging gained popularity, whole new aspects of language have developed because of them.

It’s even present in the Oxford English Dictionary. Check out the strangely formal entry for OMG:

"OMG int. (and n.) and adj.: 'Oh my God' (or sometimes 'gosh', 'goodness', etc.)".

And it’s not just OMG that has entered into our everyday lexicon. Other Oxford English Dictionary entries include FYI, LOL and BFF plus many more.

Getting to the point

People of a certain generation (namely those who had 1999’s Nokia 3210) remember the pain of trying to fit text messages into the 148 character limit so they wouldn’t be charged for two messages.

This meant a wholly new system of slang developed out of the need to save 12p. Obviously it wasn’t just that, but you get the picture.

Early examples include substituting numbers for letters, such as ‘gr8’, and cutting vowels, namely ‘txt’ for ‘text’ or ‘obvs’ for ‘obviously’ (obvs). Slang terms such as ‘tomoz’ for ‘tomorrow’ also became popular.

Then came initialisms.


Initialisms are words that have been condensed down to their first letters, and include OMG, IDK and LOL. New ones are invented each year, and they’re normally the preserve of younger generations.

This is so much so that courts in America have had to start consulting the Urban Dictionary in order to understand transcripts.

And what happens when words can’t be shortened down anymore? You say it with pictures of course, or in this case, Emoji.


Reckoned to be the fastest growing language in Britain, Emoji started life in Japan and was designed specifically for electronic messaging and web pages. The big leap to the mainstream outside of Japan came when it was included on the iPhone, shortly followed by Android. The Emoji language has great versatility, in that the pictures can come to mean many different things to many different people. It’s also outrageously popular, as according to a Talk Talk mobile survey, 72% of 18-25 year-olds find it easier to express themselves through Emoji pictures than words.

So what does this mean for the future?

Will newspapers one day consist of nothing but colourful Emoji pictures? Will words cease to exist all together?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

K thx bai

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Ever been a bit confused by all those faces and pictures in you kids' text messages? Don't worry, yo

23 July, 2018
We’re here to whet your appetite with a few of the rumours doing the rounds about...
23 July, 2018
If you're planning on jetting off somewhere nice this summer, our top tips for using...
23 July, 2018
If you're planning on jetting off somewhere nice this summer, our top tips for using...
20 July, 2018
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 have amazing cameras packed with state-of-the-art features....
18 July, 2018
If you've never considered using a stylus on your phone, perhaps you should. In fact,...

23 July, 2018
We’re here to whet your appetite with a few of the rumours doing the rounds about...
29 June, 2018
We’re well aware of Amazon and Netflix in the world of entertainment streaming, but...
5 June, 2018
Apple’s annual developer’s conference (WWDC 2018) has kicked off, and the keynote...
16 May, 2018
Monqi is a unique version of Android, designed for children. Through an accompanying...
15 May, 2018
Honor has launched the Honor 10 smartphone at an exclusive event in central London....
12 April, 2018
If you find yourself confused by the mention of 5G, don't worry. We answer any questions...
9 April, 2018
Check out the brilliant new Sony Xperia XZ2, out now at Carphone Warehouse. It’s...
27 March, 2018
Huawei has just announced its new P20 smartphone series at its Paris event today....
16 March, 2018
We invited our favourite grime legend Big Narstie along to Carphone Warehouse HQ...
2 March, 2018
Following another successful Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we're rounding up...
25 February, 2018
Check out all the brand new features on the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ soon available...
25 February, 2018
Nokia has an exciting collection of new smartphones – The Nokia 1, Nokia 6, Nokia...