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Txting across time: undergraduates’ use of ‘textese’ in seven consecutive first-year psychology cohorts

Kemp, N ORCID: 0000-0002-8214-5427 and Grace, A 2017 , 'Txting across time: undergraduates’ use of ‘textese’ in seven consecutive first-year psychology cohorts' , Writing Systems Research, vol. 9, no. 1 , pp. 82-98 , doi:

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Communicating by text message is an everyday occurrence for mostyoung adults. This form of communication is often associated with anabbreviated, unconventional spelling style, sometimes called ‘textese’.In this study, we report on the changing written language of textmessaging, across seven cohorts of first-year Psychologyundergraduates (n = 728) at an Australian university. From 2009 to2015, the decline of textese use has gradually tailed off, but remainsto represent approximately 12% of written words. Earlier attempts toreduce the number of characters (e.g., for ) are nowequalled by emotionally expressive spellings that increase thenumber of characters (e.g., ), and women havecontinued to use more textese than men. It appears that today’slarger phone screens and keyboards, and easier input methods,rather than any changes in views on the appropriateness of usingtextese, are the main drivers in reducing young adults’ tendency touse unconventional spellings in their text messages.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kemp, N and Grace, A
Keywords: text messaging, spelling, undergraduates, digital communication
Journal or Publication Title: Writing Systems Research
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1758-6801
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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