Technology.am (Aug. 6, 2009) — A 33-year-old student British graduate student, Caroline Tagg earned a PhD in English from Birmingham University for her 80,000-word thesis on the study of SMS text messaging language.
Tagg studied 11,000 text messages from 235 people over four years. She found that the average text is 17.5 words.
She added texters often include features of conversational spoken language like “oh,” “erm,” and “dunno” even though they add unneccessary keystrokes, and they use fewer abbreviations.
Tagg said that not many people use abbreviations. People use playful manipulation and metaphors. Not only are they quite creative, it is also quite expressive.
She called the research “enlightening” even if not all the texts were scintillating. One example: “Hi. I know you are at work but I just wanted you to know I found my pen lid.”