Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dropped Pronouns and Text Speak

Although we have covered this before, it is helpful to review.  Can statement analysis be applied to text messages?

Yes.  Wherever there is communication and deception possible, analysis can be there too.  

Below is a comment left where another commentator left a good response that I would like to expand upon. 

Re:   "Text messages and dropped pronouns. Peter,when i text a family member or friend it is rare for me to use the first person pronoun I. IE, Went to the shops,had coffee,be back soon... I know i am not distancing myself from them and i know have been were i have said i have been. So how does SA work when it comes to dropped pronouns in text messaging.??"

A helpful reader responded by correctly identifying that we look for a pattern.

In a text, pronouns are rare, but since texts are meant to communicate, they are subject to analysis and can be deceptive.  In many texts, pronouns go missing.
"Gone to store.  Love you."

What we can identify with this text is that text messaging is expected to be abbreviated greatly.
It is expected that pronouns will be missing.


We take careful note when a pronoun does appear as being "very important."

"Gone to store. Need groceries. I will be home at 5"

Not knowing the person sending the text nor the recipient, my guess would be (if asked) that the home arrival time is an important piece of information, perhaps a reminder to be there, or don't be late, and so on.

There are studies currently ongoing as to the meanings of:

???  (see above)
?!?, !!!, ..., ...., and so on.  As the research continues and shows consistency, I will publish it.  Some of the other basics can be viewed, including text messages that make false claims, or that are in response to accusations.

The context is always important.

The astute reader left this at the end and it is worth quoting:

" PS-when you had coffee, was someone with you? -- that's usually an indicator that you were doing something social, particularly when you find it important to mention it. Have a great day"



John Mc Gowan said...


Thanks for responding to my question.

Also thanks to the responder for the explanation.

John Mc Gowan said...

Re: !!!, In text Speak.

Could be that the author is putting emphasis and or annoyance to their words?

IE,You never pick up the phone when you say you will.!!!

John Mc Gowan said...

My apologies for asking so many questions,i am a newbie and want to learn so much..

I believe if i dont asked questions i wont learn.

Yours enthusiastically

John. hehe

MissUnderstood said...

I use extra punctuation often... :)

Here's my interpretation:

??? - WHAT unbelievable
?!? - seriously? ridiculous! are you kidding?
... - this is hard to explain, to me it means thinking, or maybe even for the person reading to think more. I also use it when a thought is left incomplete (example: If the shoe fits...). Plus I use it when leaving out part of a direct quote (example: Jane Doe said "... Blah blah blah".

I usually do not abbreviate my texts, only if I am in a rush. I never abbreviate "I love you". I don't usually abbreviate words themselves, but I do use IDK, BTW, etc. I think an analysis of one text from one person might be difficult. The more examples from said person, the better.

Is it strange to analyze my own statements? Lol

John Mc Gowan said...

MissUnderstood Said.

"Is it strange to analyze my own statements? Lol"

Me too, its so weird in a good way though..

Anonymous said...

When I send a txt that is only ".......", I use it in response to a txt that has hurt my feelings (ie: I dont know what to say, no comment) or in response to something that has left me speechless.

Just to give you an idea of why I use it. I have a bad habit of using ellipses also, so you'll see it between sentences.


Lis said...

I was wondering just this morning about dropped pronouns in general. I see them dropped a lot in peoples' statements and live conversations. Are they always an issue? It seems like it is really common for people to drop pronouns.

I was reading this article this morning, about a neighborhood in St. Louis where rabbits are dying off in large numbers, and noticed this statement:

“I’ve lived here about sixteen years,” resident Joe Dobbs said. “Never seen anything like this. Usually see rabbits all over the neighborhood and now, for some reason, they’re just showing up dead.”

Joe Dobbs has found 8 dead rabbits in his own yard, the article says. Authorities want to test one of the rabbits to try and find out if it is a disease or what is happening.

Is Joe Dobbs' statement sensitive? Or just a typical guy talking without repeating the pronoun in every sentence?

Tania Cadogan said...

I do as well, I find i no think more before opening mouth as my dad always said engage brain before opening mouth.
I also find i read what i have written and correct my tenses and pronouns ( it's a shame about my spelling though) so the reader can see what and where i am emphasisng.
I rarely text since i am unable to not correct my spellings and use correct pronouns and tenses. It invariably means that if i am texting someone to say i am on my way there, by the time is have written my message i am at their front door.
In client i do use what we call vbonics LOL, ROFL, OMG, PITA, BRB
After a particulalry long rove (10hrs of general chaos and drama as it happens) i answered the phone and LOL'd when i should have laughed and BRB'd When i should have said excuse me a moment

Tania Cadogan said...

Hi Lis
As with eanything, we would look for a pattern.
Does he speak like this all the time regardless of subject?
If so there's your answer, in his case we would look to see where he uses the pronoun I as it would be unexepected in his case.

If he always uses pronouns such as I and then drops them we would look to see where they are dropped, the topic and if he drops them when discussing something else.

Look for what is expected, if you aren't sure think how you would answer the question, look for the pattern, the rhytmn of speech.
if someone talks fluently and then stumbles, pauses, uses nonsense sounds on a topic and reverts back to normal when off the topic then it is sensitive and we need to ask why.

Never assume, take the time to learn the subjects personal dictionary, what is normal for them, when does the expected become unexpected.
It can be as simple as a single word that will cause you to prick your ears and go huh?

Listen only to the words.
The sbject is dead the statement is alove.
Don't interpret what you think they meant as in effect you are then analysing yourself not the subject.
Let the subject guide you, they will tell you what happened or how they feel using their own words chosen a microsecond by their brain before being spoken.

MissUnderstood said...

That's funny Hobnob, because in my comment above regarding abbreviating texts, using SA, (I think) my statement appears deceptive. I reported in the negative, used the word never as a "denial". Those are the words that came to my mind. I was being honest. Maybe I'm really confused regarding SA. I thought I was starting to get a better understanding of SA, but then I go and confuse myself.

Lis said...

Thanks, Hobs. So, there would have to be a longer statement or more statements, in order to get a feel for how a particular person usually talks.

I like how you said "Don't interpret what you think they meant as in effect you are then analysing yourself not the subject"- that is a good point!

Periwinkle Paisley said...

OT, I just watched Dr. Phil's interview with Dina Lohan answering allegations that she's a bad mother. It's good SA practice! I think she is a narcissist but not a very bright one -- are all narcissists supposed to be above average in their intelligence? She acts like a bubbleheaded teenager, it's incongruent with her age and job.