Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lucia Text language difficult to read

I read with amusement today that text language takes the recipient of a text message almost twice as long to read as it takes to read something in standard English.
Research by an Australian psychology lecturer found that common abbreviations used in mobile phone text messages could sometimes not be understood and were often misinterpreted.

Results from the 55 students tested by Nenagh Kemp of the University of Tasmania showed that text-speak saved time for the writer, but the recipient took nearly twice as long - 26 seconds - to read the message out loud. It took 14 seconds to read messages sent in conventional English.

The most common abbreviations that were easily understood included 2, 4, c and u. The most difficult abbreviations included ttyl (talk to you later), bbs (be back soon), pu (pick up) and cn (seeing).
I personally hate abbreviated text language and will use the predictive text on my phone as much as possible. The only abbreviations I use are very common, such as "ph" for phone.

The abbreviation I dislike the most is "u" for you. It just seems rude, even though it's not intended to be. I suppose in my mind, if you are referring to a person, some extra courtesy is in order and "u" just doesn't relay that courtesy.

Related Link: C this takes twice as long ~ Stuff

3 comment(s):

Greg said...

Also see "Leet", hacker abbreviations and what not. Obviously there's cross-talk between the "elite" hacker symbolic language and the text code of the masses. In everyday practice though, I haven't seen leet used on a grand scale outside a scifi book by Neal Stephenson or Charles Stross.

Anonymous said...

greg,
Ya gotta read geek sites like Slashdot (aka /.) and "The Register" to see words like "l33t h4X0r" bandied about.

Greg said...

yeah, true, pwn3d. I was thinking though that it's rare to see a whole message communicated in hacker outside a carefully constructed paragraph by Neal Stephenson.

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