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FACULTY OF EDUCATION AND LANGUAGES

OUMH1203
ENGLISH FOR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
ASSIGNMENT TITLE:
A NEW ERA OF COMMUNICATION: THE INFLUENCE OF SMS USAGE

Name: ABDUL RAHIM BIN MAT AMIN


Matric Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
NRIC: xxxxxxxxxxx
Telephone Number: 000000000000000
E-mail Address: rahimam@oum.edu.my

Tutors Name: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Learning Centre: Terengganu Learning Centre

Semester: May 2010

ABSTRACT
Short Messaging System (SMS) is a basic tool of communication that is used every
day of every people in this world. This communication is a new way of for people to
connect and interact with people without boundaries of distance and time. But, others
found that SMS has affect in languages with usage of abbreviated and emoticons. And
to some others, this language gave new opportunity for languages and include mother
tongue can be revived along together with technology evolution of communication.
This paper consist a survey of 30 participants in knowing their opinion whether SMS
language is corrupting or not with our language. From the survey done data are
receive when the questionnaire is fill up and collected. The data is then presented in
graph form when presenting their opinion.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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No.

Description

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Introduction
Literature Review
Writers Opinion
Analysis
Discussion
Conclusion
Appendixes
References

Page Number
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INTRODUCTION
Communication is an essential part of our lives. We communicate every day with
different people, at different times, in different ways. In making communication
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happen, there are six elements presents: context, source-receiver, messages,


channels, noise and effect1. SMS is categorized as written communication because it
used words and sentences. Using mobile phone and computer as example SMS can
be initiated to people who we want to communicate. In Malaysia, according to
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, male users contribute
57.4% of subscriber base while females contribute the remaining of 47.6%. Groups
identified are preteens and teens (users up to age of 19), adults (users from age of 20
to 49 years) and seniors (aged 50 and above) SMS usage reports a significant 84.9
percent of users in the subscriber base. The percentage of users sending out more
than 5 SMS messages in a day on average is 49.6 percent2.
Languages in SMS communication in Malaysia are affecting in terms of
grammatical and structure of words. This is due to usage of abbreviated words,
emoticons or smileys replacing words, and newly created words.

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LITERATURE REVIEW
SMS had affected to all level of communication in every aspects and areas in our life.
According to a research paper by Nurhizam Shafie3, SMS had taken part in university
education in easing student in retrieve and convey information. He studies on SMS as
a supplementary learning tool at OUM (Open Learning University). From his research
found that SMS learning gave benefits to the university students in terms of
information of examination dates and others. He also found that student feel easy
communicating with SMS with peers and confront them later in myLMS. As
conclusion, learning systems must be able to stand along with development of
communication technology.
In other article done by three students from University Technology MARA (UiTM) 4,
they researched on how languages affected by technologies and its potentiality bring
changes in Malaysia language change. Two factors influencing language changes are
the need to communicate faster and to convey more in each message based on their
literature review. Fifty random participants from age ranging from 18 to 23 had taken

Taken from English Oral Communication OUM module (refer to References)


Taken from 2005 Handphone Users survey (refer to References)
3
Refer to Appendix I
4
Refer to Appendix II
2

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part in their survey. Their analysis shows that language changes occurred in as a result
of new emerging applications such as Facebook, Twitter and so on. Sentences used
are reduced synthetically and elements of code mixing presents where other languages
(Bahasa Melayu and English) are being merged together in communicating.
Acronyms and abbreviations used in E-learning makes teachers sometimes could not
understand on codes and texts used. They stated that language and culture are closed
in relation where people adopt SMS-codes and universal chat globally. Internet site
defined acronyms are typical in this time, but without context it becomes useless.
Example if type ASAP, there are 73 definitions depending on context among others:
"As Soon As Possible," "A Stupid Acting Person," "After School Activities Program"
and "Always Stop and Pray."
Three researchers5 develop a research article regarding on abbreviating words and
phrases has become a phenomenon with the increase of technologys use in todays
world. Based on their study conducted, they found that commonly usage of shortened
words and phrases such as u (you) and lol (laughing out loud). Abbreviations and
misspellings of texts messaging in writings found by teachers and the quality of even
students formal has suffered under the influence of texting. In Table 1.1 below shows
some common text message abbreviations used and its frequency based on research
study conducted on selected participants. It had affected on students spelling,
punctuation and grammar.
Young adults used inventive spelling for many simpler words which taken from
common words. In long term, it may result in formal application applying the new
kind of texting.

Table 1.1

The most common text message abbreviations

Word/Phrase
You

Refer to Appendix III

Abbreviation

Frequency

35

ya

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Okay

You are late

ok

UR L8

An article by Wanda B Hedrick6, she concerned on use of abbreviated word that


currently affecting young adults who were students as their weak their spelling skills.
The introduction of computer-mediated communication (CMC) technology or
sometimes referred as textese develop a new type of languages which are popular in
e-mail messages, chat rooms and others. Normal phone texting is limited by space
and no typing will occur if try to extend the characters (something like 160). So,
words need to rid out some vowels, use some numbers for parts of the words to make
the messages can be sent.
Sean Coughlan7, stated that using abbreviated words actually improving childrens to
spell correctly. He discovered that researchers from University of Coventry say text
language uses word play and requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written
English. The study shown abbreviated words developed a phonetic pronunciation
when created phonological awareness needed in translating the abbreviated words
to correct pronunciation. Example, l8r for later and hmwk for homework, children
implement rhymes and understands phonetics from abbreviations used. This is a part
of texting and also a part towards successful reading and spelling development. So far
based on the study, researchers have not found a negative impact of between using
text abbreviations and literacy skills.
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WRITERs OPINION
Based on literature review done, plus my knowledge and views on SMS, I disagree
that SMS language is corrupting our language (Bahasa Melayu, English and mother
tongue). The reason is very simple as long as we can understand the language whether
it is SMS or Normal language. Its all about meaning and understanding. SMS
language is good but at the same time we should not forget the original language. The

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Refer to Appendix IV
Refer to Appendix V

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world is small so we prefer SMS...short and simple. Communication is done when


message is received by recipients successfully.
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ANALYSIS
A survey is done by distributing a predesigned questionnaire in knowing their
feedback on SMS is corrupting our language or not. Below are the results gathered
and [presented in Table 1.2 and shown in Figure 1.1]. Figure 1.1 shows the number of
percentages of people answers based on questionnaire given.
Table 1.2

Survey based on SMS activities

1. Do you have a mobile phone (mobile phone)?


2. Do you SMS?
3. When you used SMS, did you shorten up the words,

Questions

% Yes
100
100
97

% No
0
0
3

abbreviate the words or chunk the words?


4. Did you shorten up Bahasa Melayu words in your SMS?
5. Did you shorten up Mother tongue words in SMS?
6. Did you shorten up English words in SMS?
7. Did you SMS in other language(s)?
a. If Yes, name the language (s)

93
83
97
23
Indian

7
17
3
77

Chinese

8. Did you mix up more than one language in your SMS?


a. If Yes, name the language(s)

100

9. Will SMS help to revive your mother tongue language?

60

40

Fig 1.1 Percentages of people answers based on questionnaire given

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In Fig. 1.1 indicates the percentages of the respondent regarding on the questions
given. Also everyone has a mobile phones and used in their life.
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DISCUSSION
SMS has countless contributions to the worlds and let's discuss some of them.
Banking. SMS had contributed so much in terms of transactions like depositing and
withdrawing money. Instead of people going to the banks to transact, the latter had
instituted various ways so that the customers can perform bank transactions through
short messaging service. This makes them complete their financial transactions
without leaving their offices and or their homes.
Social Aspect. SMS has made old acquaintances and family members become
continually in touch. With used SMS shorten up words make family connection
become fun and create happiness.
Business. SMS allows for the sales and purchase of goods easier. By just sending and
receiving text messages, both buyers and vendors of products need not have to meet
face-to-face when trading. Precise language in the SMS can make customers attractive
to buy the products because they understand.
SMS Disadvantages:

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Like any other technological advances, SMS has its own share of disadvantages. First
of all, it is being used by unscrupulous people to blackmail others. Some crooked
group of people will send you text messages stating that they have allegedly won in a
lottery or promos. Then they'll find out that the aforementioned were not true and will
only bribe with some amount of money.
SMS has made some families disintegrate in one way or another. Husbands and wives
can be occupied sending text messages to some friends or colleagues. Rather than
talking to one another and their children, they'll usually pick up the cell phone and
text or play games. Likewise, children are communicating to their peers most often
using text messages and lose quality time interacting with their parents. Sadly, their
interaction, communication, and even relationship are endangered. Some users also
became addicted to Short Messaging System which implements the language into
formal activities such as work, meeting and others.

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CONCLUSION
Nevertheless, all is not yet lost in terms of getting the full potential of this new
messaging tool and the languages. We only have to apply the right language it in the
way that we can maximize its usage and services. Sending scams, blackmails, and
others with the same evil motives should be stopped at once. We can all start sending
good and inspiring messages follow right language that will enable others to be
uplifted and inspired to do what is right. We should not forget to interact with other
individuals, as well. While SMS is a great help in communicating to people, face-toface interaction should not be put aside. Technology like this is beneficial, but abusing
in term of language it will ruin its true purpose and functions as to why it is invented
in the first place which is far easier communication.

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APPENDIXES
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1. Appendix I
Nurhizam Shafie. (2004). The use of Short Messaging Systems (SMS) as a
supplementary learning tool in Open University Tool (OUM). [Online]. Available:
2. Appendix II
Hazadiah Mohamad Dahan, Noor Zaina Idris and Roslinda Wab. (n.d.), Language
Change in Malaysia. [Online]. Available:
http://www.researchsea.com/html/article.php/aid/5105/cid/2/research/language
change_in_malaysia.html. [2010, June 15].
3. Appendix III
Donita Massengill Shaw, Caroyln Carlson & Mickey Waxman, (2007), An
Exploratory Investigation into the Relationship Between Text Messaging and
Spelling. New England Reading Association Journal; 2007; 43, 1. In ProQuest
Education Journals (OUM Digital Collection).
4. Appendix IV
Wanda B Hedrick, (2008). Textese A Literacy Teachers Nightmare or Benjamin
Franklins Dream Come True-Voices from The Middle, Volume 15 Number 4, May
2008. In ProQuest Education Journals (OUM Digital Collection).
5. Appendix V
Sean Coughlan. (n.d.), Phone texting 'helps pupils to spell'-BBC News education
and family. [Online]. Available:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8468351.stm. [2010, June 17].
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REFERENCES
1. http://www.articlesbase.com/computers-articles/sms-super-messaging-serviceadvantages-and-disadvantages-657542.html#ixzz0tATdLyML

Books

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1. S Sivagnanachelvi, Dr Chong Poh Wan, Chua Eok Keng & Cik Norazlina
Mohamad. [2009]. OUMH1303 English for Oral Communication Module-Faculty
of Education and Languages. Open University Malaysia.
Questionnaire used in this assignment
SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
SMS PRACTICES IN MALAYSIA
*(Instrument prepared by Supyan Hussin, 2008)
Instruction: Type in appropriate answer in space provided below.
A. BACKGOUND INFORMATION

1. Age:

A. 15-20

B. 21-25

C. 26-30

D. 31-35

C. Both

D. Others

E. 36-40

F. More than 40 years old.


Answer: ___________________________

2. Ethnic:
Answer: ____________________________

3. Your mother tongue:


Answer: ____________________________

4. Gender: Male / Female


Answer: ____________________________

5. Status:

A. Studying

B. Working

(Choose one applicable)


Answer: ____________________________

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B. SMS ACTIVITIES
Instruction: We highly appreciate it if you could provide us some feedback on this quick survey.
Please respond to the following statements by type in the appropriate option in the box. Do not write
your name. Thank you for your cooperation.
Yes

No

NA (Not Applicable)

1. Do you have a mobile phone (mobile phone)?


2. Do you SMS?
3. When you used SMS, did you shorten up the words,
abbreviate the words or chunk the words?

4. Did you shorten up Bahasa Melayu words in your


SMS?

5. Did you shorten up Mother tongue words in SMS?


6. Did you shorten up English words in SMS?
7. Did you SMS in other language(s)?
a. If Yes, name the language (s)

8. Did you mix up more than one language in your


SMS?
a. If Yes, name the language(s)

9. Will SMS help to revive your mother tongue


language?
C. SMS ABBREVIATIONS
Instruction: How would you shorten up the following words in SMS? Or How would you SMS the following
expressions?
Expressions
How are you?
Good morning
I will call you
Breakfast
I love you
Do you want to come

Mother tongue

Bahasa Melayu

English

with me?
He had an accident last
night.

D. Agree or Disagree:
Instruction: Type in one answer only.
Do you think shortening up words in SMS will corrupt your language? Yes or

No.

Optional for respondents to answer.


Why did you say YES? In what way SMS corrupt the language?
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Why did you say NO?


Please provide answers in point forms. Kindly write your responses in space provided below.

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