SMS Linguistic Creativity in Small Screen Technology

Norah Mose


SMS texting uses language in a creative way. This is necessitated by the small space available on the small mobile screen and the cumbersome nature of the typing keys. The resultant use of abbreviations, clippings, logograms and graphones among others has raised debate in the writing arena with most people blaming SMS texts for impoverishing writing among students. This paper adopts the contrary view and takes a case study of Maasai Mara University students  to find out that SMS texts have to use a register of their own which deviates from the standard written English. This paper also proves that before students can text, they already know the rules of the grammar of English which they manipulate in novel ways while compressing the messages. Given essays to write, the same students use standard written English. The paper also concludes by observing that abbreviations, clippings or even emoticons were in use even before SMS texting became widespread.

Keywords: SMS, texting, creativity, messages, writing and language.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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