The short messaging service popularly known as SMS and the SMS lingo is slowly poisoning our usage of English language and we have become so used to writing in short form of certain words that while drafting something formal we keep using the SMS lingo. Thanks that we have the MS-Word spelling and grammar check feature to our rescue.

My concern is that what will the newest generation learn? Each day some of these SMS lingo is being adapted into English language dictionary, words like LOL (laugh out loud) and OMG (Oh my God) are now part of the English language dictionaries. Smart phones and other hand-held devices have made using this SMS language easier than ever.

Indulging too much in SMS lingo can, not only mar the correct usage of English language but can ruin chances of you landing a better job. Imagine yourself writing to your boss,

“Hi,

Can you plz let me know when shud I come for the meeting?”

Words in bold are part of SMS lingo. Not only are this, but often it so happens that for one word there several new spellings that are coined each day. Words such as lyke instead of like, luv, instead of love, gr8 instead of great have become so common that we hardly recognize it to be SMS lingo. It is completely okay if these words are restricted and limited to SMS and social networking sites, but when it comes to using it in schools, colleges, or in a professional and business world then it becomes a problem.

I agree if we have to write full spellings of each and every word while texting, it will become cumbersome for many. But people using SMS lingo anywhere and everywhere do not think about those people who are not well-versed with this kind of lingo, they would spend more time comprehending a given message.

Nevertheless, I have noticed that many people are so comfortable and accustomed to using this lingo that it becomes difficult to review and correct such articles or content. Coming from an Instructional Design background, I very well know the importance of acronyms and the difference between acronyms and SMS lingo. Acronyms if not used properly can sabotage the reputation of a person at his/her workplace and can incur loss of clients.

I understand that we now reside in a fast-paced world where on the go communication has become the in thing. However, the growing use of this SMS lingo will definitely back fire some day. Perhaps, it is already hampering the English language using ability of the newer generation. Sooner than we realize we will have all the words used in SMS lingo in our dictionaries and soon people will forget the actual spelling of a particular word.

I know that there must be a section of people who would disagree with me on this topic and really don’t think that SMS lingo is on the verge of destroying the proper usage of formal written English. But deep down I know that SMS lingo is having an adverse impact on our written communication skills and our vocabulary. I think we should save the catchy and short phrases or words for copywriting and ad world. We should stick to the proper way of communicating at least in a formal setup.

Here are certain tips of how you can forgo using SMS lingo in a formal office environment:

  • Do a thorough review of your written content and use a spell checker as and when required.
  • Do not include words like ‘shud’ lyke and similar such words in a formal written communication.
  • When in doubt, always refer to an online dictionary.

Please do share your thoughts on the usage of SMS lingo- the advantages and its downside.


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Comments (2)

  1. jabeen

You have brought up an important issue. SMS lingo has definitely done more harm than benefit. One of my friends who spends a great deal of time text messaging using SMS language often ask me for spelling for even easy words. I am sure, there are...

You have brought up an important issue. SMS lingo has definitely done more harm than benefit. One of my friends who spends a great deal of time text messaging using SMS language often ask me for spelling for even easy words. I am sure, there are many people like her who are no longer sure about spelling of words.

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  1. Mousumi Ghosh

Yes..I am sure Jabeen there must be more such examples. In fact when I was asked to review a written piece a PowerPoint presentation..the entire deck was full of SMS lingo, which was quite disheartening to see that people don't think twice before...

Yes..I am sure Jabeen there must be more such examples. In fact when I was asked to review a written piece a PowerPoint presentation..the entire deck was full of SMS lingo, which was quite disheartening to see that people don't think twice before using this lingo in their day-to-day work.

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