Texting makes breaking up not so hard to do

An exercise by Isabel Pérez for students in Bachillerato

Try to guess the percentage expression in each gap. Then check your answers.

   2.1 billion      31 per cent      45 per cent      four per cent      nine per cent      nine per cent      Nine per cent      one in 10      one in five      three per cent      Three-quarters of      two-thirds   

carried out: realizado
dump a partner: romper con la pareja
consigned to the dustbin: destinado al cubo de la basura
(to be) embarrassed: sentir verguenza
figures: cifras
handset: auricular
quit: dejar
survey: estudio, encuesta

Dear John letters are in danger of being consigned to the dustbin of history as almost people has finished a relationship by text message, according to a survey.

admitted to having dumped a boyfriend or girlfriend by sending a SMS (Short Message Service) from their mobile telephone. Among those aged 15-24 the figure rises to .

Almost half of women, , owned up to secretly checking their partner's messages, compared to of men.

15 to 24-year-old use texts to flirt. The proportion of adults as a whole is 44 per cent.

The figures, from a survey carried out by Sicap, a Swiss messaging services provider, demonstrate how the use of texts in personal communications is on the rise among those of all ages, especially the young.

In March handset messages were sent in the UK, up a quarter on the same month last year, according to the Mobile Data Association.

Among those under 25, the survey found almost had argued, 20 had dumped a boyfriend or girlfriend, and had quit a job by text.

Philippa O'Sullivan, 15, from near Basingstoke, Hampshire, said using text messages to finish relationships was common among teenagers.

She said: "A lot of teenagers find it easier to talk by text. I've heard of lots of people, including a couple of my friends, being dumped that way.

"You are not face to face and you don't have to be embarrassed. I personally disagree with it because it's a coward's way out. It's really harsh and heartless.

"It's usually boys who dump by text because they are not very good at communicating." While older generations have not embraced the text revolution to the same extent, they have not been left behind.

Among the survey's respondents aged 65 or over, have sent a love letter, have argued, have dumped a partner.

The growing use of texts by those under 16 led 72 per cent of the survey's respondents to agree that parents should be able to monitor their children's texts. Half of those under 25 disagreed.

"It is becoming an integral part of the way we communicate and relate to each other.

"For many communication needs it has replaced a letter or a phone call because it is quick, easy and cheap."

A piece of news By Nic Fleming
(03/05/2004) in the
Daily Telegraph