a.k.a. texting, text message, person-to-person messaging, p2p messaging, SMS, shorthand, logograms, logographs, pictograms, pictographs

The act of typing and sending a brief, electronic message (less than 160 characters) via a wireless network to another person so they can view the short message (SMS) on any number of mobile or handheld devices, such as a smartphone, cell phone, PDA, handy, or pager.

As more and more people send text messages to each other (especially in Europe and parts of Asia where it is appropriately referred to as SMS), they are increasingly using acronyms, chat acronyms, shorthand, and smileys since the screens on mobile devices keep getting smaller and smaller -- be sure to see: microbrowser and microblogging.

The most noticeable feature of text orthography (a method of specifying the correct way of using a writing system to write a language) is the use of single letters, numerals, and typographic symbols to represent words, parts of words or even noises. For example:

b = be
2 = to
@ = at
x = kiss

When graphic units are used in this way, they are technically known as logograms or logographs (or in the case of some languages, characters). Logograms in texting may be used alone, or in combination:

b4 = before
@oms = atoms
2day = today
xxx = kisses
zzz = sleeping

Pictograms or pictographs, on the other hand, refer to visual shapes or pictures that represent objects or concepts. For example, emoticons and straight-on smileys are pictograms, and are also known as ASCII art. For example:

:-) = smile
;-) = wink
:-@ = screaming
(*o*) = surprised
(^_^) = cute

Some texters use a combination of English and their language, for example, here are some German phrases:
b4 = before (bevor)
4u = for you (fur dich)
4e = for ever (fur immer)
brb = be right back (bin gleich wieder da)
j4f = just for fun (nur zum spass)
mx = Merry Christmas (Frohe Weihnachten)

Texting 101:

  • Don't worry about upper and lowercase letters
  • Eliminate punctuation if you want to
  • Eliminate vowels, such as pls for please
  • Replace words with number, as in cul8r
  • Use sounds and letters to represent words, like u for you
  • Use common abbreviations for common words, like thx for thanks
  • Add some text message lingo and smileys!

Historical perspective: In July 2005, in the U.S. there were 81.7 million text message users over 13 years old, while April 2008 saw that figure increase 37.5% to 112 million. These users sent 48 billion messages monthly and 363 billion annually, an increase of 448% since 2005. In 2009, according to TNS Global, 74% of the world’s digital messages were sent through a mobile device in January 2009, a 15% increase over the previous year.

By 2019, statistics show that texting worldwide, continues to grow:

  • 5 billion people globally send and receive SMS messages. That’s about 65% of the world’s population.
  • 292 million people in North America use text messages — that’s 80% of the total population.
  • The country with the highest percentage of mobile users is Russia where 89% of the population sends and receives text messages.
  • China and India have the most people who send sms messages — China comes first with 1,081 million people and India second with 730 million.
  • The mobile industry had a revenue of $1.05 trillion in 2017. That’s a 1.64% annual increase.
  • 3.3 billion people access the internet via mobile.
  • Most people are using smartphones nowadays — 57% of mobile users own a smartphone.

Reports project it will keep growing at a strong pace through until at least 2025:

  • Globally, the amount of people who send and receive text messages is predicted to rise to 5.9 billion by 2025.
  • Smartphone usage is expected to increase to 77% of the global population by 2025.
  • 4G will become the leading mobile network technology worldwide in 2019, with a projected 3 billion connections.
  • There are about 1.2 billion 5G connections predicted globally by the end of 2025. Most of them will be from China the U.S. and Japan, as well as most of Europe since these four areas are leading the world in 5G deployment.
  • By 2025, two-thirds of mobile connections will be on high-speed networks.
  • Researchers predict 6 billion people will send and receive SMS text messages by 2025.
  • By 2025, a predicted 61% of the world’s population will access the internet from their mobile phones.
  • Sources: slicktext.com, gsmaintelligence.com, mmaglobal.com, express.co.uk, business.att.com, ctia.org

For the largest list of chat acronyms and text messaging shorthand, click on "more info" below!  SEE ALSO: shorthand and leetspeak have additional lowercase examples :)

See also : sexting  shorthand  leetspeak  textonym  
NetLingo Classification: Net Technology

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