Daniel Stockhaus, from Ligo, who ordered the research, said that:
“We carried out the study to investigate the current climate of the American telecommunications market.
We expected to find that further education needed to be carried out by our industry but were surprised by the difference in how well the average American understood some of the more commonly used telephone acronyms in comparison to their European counterparts.”
The study comprised of nearly 3,000 participants over the age of 18. The research involved presenting male and female volunteers with a list of both telephone industry related acronyms and non-related ones too. They were then offered three possible definitions and asked to select the one which best defined the acronym being shown.
Some of the most interesting findings related to the British political party, UKIP. According to 17.3% of the 2,999 people surveyed the party, headed by Nigel Farage, was a type of Urinary Tract Infection. The vast majority (52.5%) stated that UKIP is a British Internet provider and only 30.2% correctly labelled them as a political party.
Other key points included:
- 15.2% believed that DECT (a digital communications standard) was an area of dense population in Eastern China.
- 13.1% stated that VOIP (a phone service over the internet) was a virus that commonly affects puppies.
- Perhaps understandably confusion between ISBN and ISDN meant that 34.7% thought the latter was a unique number used to identify books.
- Probably most surprising was the fact 8% of the 2,999 participants felt that SMS was a form of internet slang used on Snapchat.
Mr Stockhaus who works for the company who provide telecommunications products to a number of European markets said that:
“No matter what your opinions of UKIP are these results are clearly surprising. We (as a company) are totally committed to improving the collective global knowledge of the telephone industry.”
The findings from the study have encouraged Ligo to look into finding more studies in Europe and the US as there is clearly a disconnect between what the industry believes to be common knowledge and what the average Joe in the street understands.
With the rise in demands for all things ‘smart’ this study demonstrates there is a long way to go in the US market’s understanding of the industry. That being said as the world continues to become more open and connected these phrases will become much more popular, as will the adoption of new and advancing technologies.
For now we have to just accept that according to the Glasgow based Ligo - 11.8% of Americans believe SMS is shorthand for Sadomasochism!