Undergraduates' use of text messaging language: effects of country and collection method

Abbie Grace, Nenagh Kemp*, Frances Heritage Martin, Rauno Parrila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of mobile phone text messaging have reported widely varying proportions of textisms (e.g., u for you, 2 for to). We investigated whether conclusions about textism use are influenced by participant country, text message collection method, and categorisation method. Questionnaire data were collected from 241 undergraduate students in Australia and Canada, who also provided text messages via three methods used in previous research: translation from conventional English, writing a message in response to a scenario, and providing naturalistic messages. Significantly higher proportions of textisms were observed in messages written by Australians than Canadians, and in messages collected experimentally than naturalistically. A re-categorisation of textism forms as "contractive" versus "expressive" was explored and overall implications for text-message collection are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalWriting Systems Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • adults
  • mobile phones
  • spelling
  • text-messaging
  • textisms


Dive into the research topics of 'Undergraduates' use of text messaging language: effects of country and collection method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this