Text speak

December sees the 19th anniversary of the first text message. The very first SMS message was sent in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992. The content?  “Merry Christmas”.

Vodafone engineer Neil Papworth messaged his boss, Richard Jarvis, from his computer, starting a new trend in communication. However, it wasn’t until the turn of the century that text messaging really took off. It’s estimated that 8 trillion messages will be sent worldwide in 2011.

Earlier this year, the Oxford English Dictionary added abbreviations commonly used in text messages to its online edition. OMG, and LOL were added in the March update, (the dictionary publishes four updates per annum) and joins other similar entries such as TMI and IMHO.


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