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A Guide To Text Speak (or 'a gd 2 txt spk')

Aug 10, 2008
Texting and instant messaging is all the rage these days, as is bad spelling, acronyms and using no punctuation or capital letters. The frantic and frequency of these exchanges seems to negate the need for adequate spelling, punctuation and grammar. This is to help you get to grips with text speak (or txt spk).

Acronyms

The most popular for of text speak is acronyms. Some are easy and commonplace even in everyday language; ASAP, FYI, AKA, Some originate from internet chat rooms and forums, such as LOL, OMG and BRB and have swiftly been adopted by the texting masses. Some have emerged more recently such as TTYL, BTW, IMO, MYOB, and some are so obscure that they probably shouldn't be used by anyone unless you share a telepathic text speak dictionary, see YKWYCD, ICCL and IYSS. Meanwhile some of these acronyms (such as LOL and ASAP)are so commonplace that you could be forgiven for knowing what the acronym meant, but not what each letter actually stood for.

Shortening phrases to acronyms, or replacing whole parts of words with single letters, numbers or other characters shortens the message and saves money. The problems arise when the recipient cannot decipher the coded message. Like any language, you need to write messages for an audience, and unless the recipient is also part of the texting elite, it can lead to ambiguity and confusion.

Letters, numbers, symbols

The letters B, C, R, U, Y can be used instead of whole words (be, see, are, you, why) and numbers 2 and 8 can be combined with words or parts of words to form hybrids; 2nite, c u l8a, h8. Sometimes other characters can be used to replace words or parts of words; h&, cheer^, cum/ (hand, cheer up, come down).

Removing vowels

A simple strategy for reducing sms length is removing the vowels from certain words. This can lead to some confusion, but is probably easier to deduce than unexpected acronyms. Thrsdy, Mndy, SpcGrls, Mstr, Hppyslp etc.

Whatever you think of text speak, you had better get used to it. The introduction of predictive text might be hailed as a step forward, but really that just gently coerces texters into using more common synonyms when the word they are trying to use is not included in the electronic dictionary. At least abbreviations and acronyms require the texter to write messages character-by-character.

Text speak reduces the characters, and thus the time and cost, of a text message. All the time you are wasting punctuating your sentences properly could be spent happy slapping or at Facebook-organised water fights and stab parties. Embrace the new lingo, reduce your text message bill and confuse your family and friends!
About the Author
Providing the mobile technology for business communication, PageOne provides secure Web messaging accounts , integrated messaging and Bulk SMS services.
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