Germans are the world's champions when it comes to sending text messages, so it comes as no surprise that electronic greetings are replacing Christmas and New Year's cards in Germany.
Nearly half of all season's greetings are sent electronically in Germany, according to a new survey issued on the 15th anniversary of the very first text message in December 1992.
A Forsa study showed one in three Germans planned to send season's greetings this year via e-mail, text messages or multimedia messaging.
Text messaging was particularly popular among the 14 to 19 age bracket, a majority of whom said they preferred this form of communication to cards or letters.
Fifty-six of the 1,000 people surveyed said they would be sending cards or letters this Christmas, as opposed to 21 percent who planned to wish a Merry Christmas via e-mail. Three percent planned to send multimedia images from their cellphones.
The very first text message ever transmitted was a Christmas greeting sent by a British Vodafone mobile phone user in December 1992.
German books on etiquette now devote chapters to the proper way of issuing invitations and making RSVPs via mobile text messaging.
"It is a cheap and non-intrusive means of communication for millions of people who just want to send a quick thought on a whim before they forget," said communications researcher Joachim Hoeflich of Erfurt University.
When sending text message holiday greetings, it's important to consider the audience and their sensibilities, said Thomas Schaefer-Elmayer, who is Austria's leading expert on manners.
In Austria, Christmas is a bit serious, he said, adding, "Some people don't take that into account when they write funny Christmas cards."(DPA)
1. multimedia adj.
多媒體的 (duo1 mei2 ti3 de5)
例: Sid gave a multimedia presentation for his project.
2. bracket n.
同級的人 (tong2 ji2 de5 ren2)
例: Ray is in a high tax bracket.
3. transmit v.t./v.i.
傳送 (chuan2 song4)
例: We're trying to transmit messages to aliens.
4. etiquette n.
禮儀 (li3 yi2)
例: Etiquette is an important thing to learn from your parents.
RSVP is an acronym. It comes from a French term which means "please respond."
People write RSVP on invitations if they want invited guests to let them know if they'll be attending an event. They might need to prepare a certain amount of food or reserve a certain number of seats for a dinner.
People who write regrets only on an invitation only want a response from invited guests who will not be attending the event in question.
Chris: Brian, what are you doing for New Year's Eve?
Brian: I plan on climbing a mountain.
Chris: Wouldn't you rather go to a New Year's party at somebody's house?
Brian: Not really. I think New Year's parties are always a bit of a letdown.
Chris: I know what you mean. I'd like to climb the mountain with you, but today is my last day to eat lots of fatty foods before I go on a diet.
Something that's a letdown is a disappointment. For example, "I read positive reviews about the movie, but it was a major letdown."
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