Allen Nnanwuba Adum, Uche Victor Ebeze, Uchenna Patricia Ekwugha, Charles Chukwuemeka Okika


Mobile telephony has a number of service components. One of such is the Short Message Service (SMS). This is the text communication service component of mobile communication systems, especially for mobile phones or cellular phones. The SMS is the most widely used data application in the world. Abbreviations used in SMS are done so much in an arbitrary manner that the creatively destroy the grammar of the various languages. Often times these short forms of words create concepts that not only bastardise written communication language but could be misunderstood by those not steeped in this unorthodox form of written language communication. This paper empirically examines the phenomenon of creative destruction as it applies to use of SMS abbreviations vis-vis standard written language communication conventions. The study was designed as a survey. Questionnaire was administered to 398 randomly selected study units, drawn from a population of 262,000 tertiary students in Nigerias Southeast region. The survey questions sought answers to use of SMS abbreviations among these students; their perception of the benefits or destructiveness of SMS abbreviations; SMS abbreviations as a new communication convention among them; factors that prompt the use of SMS abbreviations among them; and effect of the use of SMS abbreviations to their use of acceptable grammatical convention. Analyzed data show agreement among the respondents that the trend of using SMS abbreviations was doing damage to their use of conventional written language communication.

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