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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 10:19 GMT
Literary classics become txt msgs
Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC production of Pride & Prejudice
Classics like Pride and Prejudice are reduced to a handful of lines
Some of English literature's greatest masterpieces have been condensed into a few lines of text message to help students revise for exams.

The service condenses classic works such as Bleak House and Pride and Prejudice into a handy aide-memoire.

For example, Hamlet's famous line: "To be or not to be, that is the question" becomes "2b? Nt2b? ???".

A university professor claims it "amply demonstrates text's ability to fillet out the important elements in a plot".

5Sistrs WntngHsbnds. NwMeninTwn-Bingly&Darcy. Fit&Loadd.BigSis Jane Fals 4B,2ndSisLiz H8s D Coz Hes Proud. Slimy Soljr Wikam Sys DHs Shady Past.Trns Out Hes Actuly ARlyNysGuy &RlyFancysLiz. She Decyds She Lyks Him.Evry1 Gts Maryd.

"Whilst some may argue that Dickens is really too big a morsel to be swallowed by text, the Great Inimitable himself began working life as a short hand writer," said Professor John Sutherland of University College London, who is backing the project.

"He would, I suspect have approved of the brevity if nothing else."

The scheme has been developed by student mobile service dot.mobile.

FeudTween 2hses- Montague&Capulet. RomeoMfalls_<3w/_JulietC@mary Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz &&is banishd. J fakes Death. As Part of Plan2b-w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd-bothLuvrs kil Emselves

The professor has compressed entire plots and believes it offers immense educational opportunities.

"Take for example the ending to Jane Eyre - 'MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus'. Was ever a climax better compressed?"

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