Abstract: This study investigates how text message users view the expansion of text speak into non-mediated communication contexts and tests the three most common linguistic theoretical frameworks for their usefulness in explaining the relationship between society, technology and text speak language in this case. In particular, we examine potential reasons predicting the frequency of using acronyms in verbal communication. A survey conducted among 250 millennial-aged text users found that the frequency of texting did not predict the occurrence of acronym use within a variety of contexts. Rather, the results indicated the use of acronyms varied when communicating with different receivers while the perceived appropriateness predicted the frequency of acronym use with both close and distant receivers. Theoretical implications are then discussed.
Keywords: Text speak, verbal communication, technolinguistics, sociolinguistics, sociology of language