Not only is our communication surpassing the restraints of the spoken and written word, but young people (and many older people) have adapted their written communication to modern technology. The spoken word has traditionally been a more relaxed version of the structured written word.Today, young people adopt the casual style of the spoken word in much of their written communication, while the formalities of written communication are oftentimes ignored. In order to accelerate communication, correct spelling and the rules of grammar do not apply to them in their daily use of SMS and chat. Words are abbreviated and shortened, while commas, apostrophes and full stops are optional.
Young people use emoticons to convey emotion or emphasis. Instead of opening with ‘Dear John’, they commence with more casual salutations such as ‘Hi’, ‘Gday’, ‘Hello’ or ‘HAWU’ (hello all, what’s up?). As for signing off, it’s no longer ‘Yours sincerely’, but rather ‘cul8r’ or ‘See ya’. Although chat and SMS are text-based forms of communication like the handwritten letter, they are used to engage in conversation on a near real-time basis and hence the informal style commonly adopted by users.