Is 140 Characters Ever Enough?

One thing that has emerged over the course of the last decade is a common aversion towards text speak, or a phenomenon to which people have begun to refer as “txt spk”. This is particularly prevalent among people who feel that language should be respected by those who use it and that if you are going to use a word, you should use the full word. While character limits (first identified as a barrier to clear communication with the advent of text messaging) do confer a certain urgency upon not wasting a word or a letter, it is possible to tweet or to text with clarity.

While text messaging may be driven towards “txt spk” by the fact that you pay by the message and you don’t want to waste money, you pay nothing for a tweet and you can easily continue your message in a second post. Although many people are conscious that multiple tweets in a short space of time can look like spamming, when faced with a choice between this and being viewed as a dimwit they tend to accept the spamming charge. It is not exactly a fair charge anyway, when it is simply a run-on tweet.

One outcome of the Twitter character limit has been the increase in sites providing shorter link URLs. If you have tweeted about a news story or with a link to a site, a long URL can take you over the character limit. Step forward sites such as tinyurl.com, snipurl.com and icanhaz.com, which offer an easy way around this.

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