The invention of messaging services through mobile phones led to the development of SMS language. There are no set rules on how SMS language should be used. Words tend to be shortened and even combined with numerals to communicate a message. For example, ’2moro’ can be used to mean tomorrow and ‘GTG’ can be used to mean got to go. Since it is harder to type on a mobile phone than on a computer keyboard, grammar, capitalization and punctuation rules are not carefully considered, as long as one communicates their message. SMS language can be viewed as a dialect of the English language. This generalization can be made given the fact that most mobile phones supported a limited number of languages when they were first invented, the most popular of which was English. Most mobile phone operating systems and interfaces have now been designed in such a way to make it possible for people to use local dialects, as the phones support various scripts and orthographies.
SMS language is also known as txt speak, chatspeak, txtese, txtlingo, SMSish and texting language. SMS language is the abbreviation or slang that is used when sending short messages. It is more commonly used with mobile phones rather than when sending instant or email messages over the Internet. SMS language aims to convey a message using the least number of characters possible, just like in a telegraph. This is due to the time and space constraints that most SMS service providers impose on users. For instance, most mobile phone service providers will limit the number of characters to 160 in a single SMS or charge for services, based on the number of characters used.
SMS language has been largely criticized for affecting the linguistic development of young users negatively. It is also criticized for undermining the rich properties of the English language that have been in use for years. Some parents and teachers have complained that children are starting to use SMS language when writing academic essays. SMS language was developed by the users as a solution to their changing needs. This means that anyone can write words as they want.