Problems of an Emergent Written Language of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) in Nigeria

  • VA Alabi
Keywords: Short Message Service (SMS), lexemes, morphemes, affixation, syntax, ESL

Abstract

This paper examines a looming warfare on effective writing by the GSM technology in Nigeria. In what seems like a ‘method in madness’, the paper identifies an emerging ‘written language of the GSM’ via the lexemes, morphemes, syntax, and mechanics of punctuation, capitalization and spacing and use of symbols in sampled messages written in English on the Short Message Service (SMS). Lurking in this language however, are many problems. Among these are its serious aftermath for correct spelling, arbitrary use of affixation, consequent difficulties with well-formed sentences as well as with mechanics. Most important, is the overall chaotic effect of this language on formal teaching and learning in English in an ESL (English as a Second Language) situation. The paper calls on writers using the English medium to strive to keep ‘the written language of the GSM’ out of good or formal writing so that it will not be one of its death knells.

Keywords: Short Message Service (SMS), lexemes, morphemes, affixation, syntax, ESL

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eISSN: 1816-7659