—This article reports on a study of politeness strategies in written discourse using Goffman’s (1967) theory of “face”. The study examined the use or non-use of social greetings in computer-mediated communication, focusing on Short Message Service (SMS) messages from students to lecturers in a private university in Malaysia. A mixed methods design of qualitative and quantitative research techniques was used to analyze a sample of 50 SMS messages selected from students who had taken or were taking an English language course at either diploma or undergraduate level. Frequency distribution and textual analyses of the data showed that the majority of students used informal greetings to begin their SMS messages to their lecturers. Most students in fact failed to employ appropriate politeness strategies that could lessen face-threatening acts between themselves and their lecturers. It was therefore concluded that the students were generally unaware of the difference in social distance, power, and face in the academic setting under study.
—Politeness strategies, short message service, social greetings, written discourse.
The authors are with the Center of Liberal Arts and Languages, INTI International University, Putra Nilai, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Cite:Harizah Faiz and N. Suhaila, "Use of Greetings in SMS Messages from Students to Lecturers at a Malaysian University," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 125-128, 2013.