Public Genre Analysis

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How To:

This guide is designed to help the Text Messaging impaired become more knowledgeable and effective when sending and receiving Text Messages. Obviously, Text Messaging opens a communicative world that ultimately has no strict boundaries or overruling guidelines, so it is important to keep in mind that this guide is composed of tips and reminders, and is not telling you how to run your life. These tips and reminders can help you understand and effectively use the Text Message and may also improve the quality of communication in some of your every day relationships.


The aspect of communication that will shape your conversations most, in the world of Text Messaging, is going to be who you are exchanging messages with. Like any other genre of Public Writing, knowing your audience is almost always going to be the most important factor in composing your communicative messages and purposes. Understanding who you are texting with will likely shape what you are talking about as well as how you talk about it. It’s fair to say that your Grandmother isn’t dying to hear how hammered you got on Saturday night, as well as it is fair to say that your close friends aren’t all too enthusiastic about your Grandmother’s new quilting class. And in the conversation with your Grandmother, you probably won’t use slang, whereas with your friends your affirmative clauses might be “wiggity word yo”.


Although considering the nature of your relationship with the person you are Texting is similar to knowing the recipient, they are not quite the same. Most Text Messaging relationships could fall under three broad categories: Social, Professional, and Romantic. Your language, tone, and purposes are certainly going to vary when communicating with individuals with whom you have different types of relationships. The expected level of respect and formality that you would carry when speaking in person with these different types of people, should be carried when texting them as well. Don’t text your new boss “Yo dawg, when do I work?” Just as Texting opens up new opportunities to effectively communicate with different types of people, it also opens up more opportunities to ineffectively communicate. 


It’s important to know what sorts of topics of discussion are most appropriate for Text Messaging. Texting is meant to be quick and on the go. Small reminders, brief conversation topics, messages to help organize meetings in person or telephone calls, and other short messages are best to be an effective and efficient Texter. Conversations that need to be held in person are sometimes inappropriate for Texting. Sometimes one will receive a text and be stunned or highly concerned but may be in position where they cannot discuss the matter. Sending a message that reads “We need to talk” is generally a better alternative to diving right into something serious or complex.


Texting is such an effective on-the-go mode of communication because those involved in a conversation can respond when it is appropriate for them. Considering this, it’s important to understand that a person you may be involved with in conversation has other things going on while they are exchanging messages with you. With this in mind, understand your communicative counterpart may not be able to respond to a message or send a message due to their other commitments. This lesson seems to be most valuable in romantic texting scenarios. Sometimes those involved will feel like they are being purposefully ignored or like they are being lied to because the flow of a conversation is interrupted. So remember, maybe their hands are tied.


The most important component of being an effective Texter is doing what works for you and remembering that Texting is what you make it. Much of the youth uses texts almost primarily as a passage for inside jokes and funny stories. So when you come across a photo that you know a friend would find hilarious, send them that photo. And when you hear the song that makes you think of your significant other, let them know. When you allow this form of communication to become a form of entertainment, you’ll understand why your kids won’t look up at the dinner table.

Keep these pieces of advice with you when you sending those little messages and you’ll get as much out of it as you can. To conclude, here’s a list of common Texting symbols and abbreviations that can help you find yourself, in a whirlwind of the digital age’s jargon.

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