[Air-l] SMSics

joshua raclaw Joshua.Raclaw at colorado.edu
Fri Feb 10 18:33:03 PST 2006

In the off-chance that the term actually gets thrown around and sticks, I
thought I'd offer my two cents.

As a linguist, using ebonics (literally ebony phonics, or the sounds of blacks)
as the analogy seems a bit off, especially since you're identifying
orthographic practices that don't always focus on sound.  Since what you're
labelling is (what some of us would call, anyway) a language-based concept that
describes practices that potentially vary by user and/or community, rather than
are assumed to exist universally among all users of SMS, I'd suggest the term

Using the term "SMS style" or something similar does imply that universality of
use among all users of the medium, but that can be fixed by throwing a
descriptor in front of 'SMS' to make it more specific (and maybe describe which
features you're including in the term?).

It's a start!


Joshua Raclaw
Dept of Linguistics
University of Colorado

Quoting Ellis Godard <ellis.godard at csun.edu>:

* I'm unaware of a sufficient term for SMS shorthand (including common sets of
* abbreviations, dropped vowels, letters for numbers, systems of substitution,
* etc.)
* Thinking of "ebonics", I've invented "SMSics" (ess'-im ESS'-icks).
* It rolls off the tongue nicely.
* It sounds a bit sexy in potential paper titles ("The Evolution of SMSics";
* "The Cultural Politics of Hegemonic SMSics", "Unicultural SMSics in a
* Multicultural World"; "Sex Effects and SMSics")
* And I could hear someone @ CNN stumbling over the teleprompted text the
* first time they see it, but being proud to say it correctly half an hour
* later, after getting producer input during the commercial break. :)
* Like it?
* -eg
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