SMS language

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SMS language or Textese (also known as chatspeak, txt, txtspk, txtk, texting language or txt talk) is the English language slang used in mobile phone SMS, social networks and instant messaging. It is an abbreviated form of English similar to a rebus. With predictive text input increasingly being used, it is becoming less common.[citation needed] This type of language does not always obey or follow standard English grammar; furthermore, the words used in the writing system may not be found in standard dictionaries.


[edit] Significance

The objective of textese is to use the fewest number of characters needed to convey a comprehensible message. Hence, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization are largely ignored.

The dialect has a few hieroglyphs (codes comprehensible to initiates) and a range of face symbols.[1] According to a study, though it is faster to write it takes more time to read than normal English.[2] According to research done by Dr.Nanagh Kemp of University of Tasmania, the evolution of ‘textese’ is inherently coupled to a strong grasp of grammar and phonetics.[3]

[edit] History

Look up txt in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Textese is a nascent dialect of English that subverts letters and numbers to produce ultra-concise words and sentiments.[4] The invention of mobile phone messages may be considered as its source, although elliptical styles of writing dating back to at least the days of telegraphese. There are no standard rules for writing SMS languages, and a lot of words can also be shortened, such as "text" then turns into "txt". Words can also be combined with numbers to make them shorter, such as "later" turns into "l8r". Its speed in which they can be written and helps in using fewest number of letters, and helps in dealing with space constraints of text messaging.

It is similar to AOL speak and Telex speak, and has evolved from the shorthand use in Internet chatrooms to accommodate the small number of characters allowed (early SMS permitted only 160 characters and some carriers charge messages by the number of characters sent), and as a convenient language for the small keyboards on mobile phones.

[edit] Vocabulary

[edit] Single letters can replace words

  • be becomes b
  • see becomes c
  • are becomes r
  • you becomes u
  • why becomes y

[edit] Single digits can replace words

  • ate becomes 8
  • for becomes 4
  • to or too becomes 2
  • one or won becomes 1

[edit] A single letter or digit can replace a syllable

  • ate becomes 8, so:
    • great becomes gr8
    • mate becomes m8
    • later becomes l8r or l8a
    • skate becomes sk8
    • skater becomes sk8r
  • tomorrow becomes 2mro
  • for or fore becomes 4, so:
    • before becomes (combining both of the above) b4
    • therefore becomes thr4

[edit] Combinations of the above can shorten a single or multiple words

  • Your and You're both become ur or yr

[edit] Common Abbreviations

Word or Phrase Abbreviation(s)
Account acc
Address addy
And n, an
Anticipate ntcp8
Age, sex, location Asl
At the moment atm
Be right back brb
Be back later bbl
Be back soon bbs
Because cuz, bcuz, bcz, bcos, bc, cos, coz or bcoz
Best friend or Boy friend bf or b/f
Best friend(s) for life bffl
Best friend(s) forever bff
Between btwn
By the way BTW
Can't be arsed cba
Comment me back cmb (usually used for social networking sites)
Definitely def
Don't worry dw
Forever 4eva or 4evr
For your information fyi
Friend frend or frnd
Fuck you fuk u or f u
Girl friend gf
Got to go g2g or gtg
Have a nice day H.A.N.D.
Hold on hld on or h/o
Homework hw, hwk or hmwk
How are you hru
I don't care idc
I don't know idk
I do what I want idwiw
I love you ily, luv u, ilu, luv ya, or i <3 u
If I recall correctly or If I remember correctly iirc
In my opinion imo
In my humble opinion imho
Jokes jks
Just for laughs jfl
Just joking jj
Just kidding jk
Just to let you know jtlyk or j2luk
Know kno,knw or noe
Kiss my teeth kmt
Kiss my ass kma
Laugh out loud lol
Lots of love lol
Laughing my ass off lmao
Laughing my fucking ass off lmfao
Laughing quietly to myself lqtm
Laugh out loud (multiple times) lollies
Love luv or <3
Message (as in a text message) msg
Never mind nm or nvm (depending on context used)
No problem np
No thank you no tnk u, nty, no ty
Not much nm (depending on context used)
Obviously ovvi or obv
Of course ov cors or ofc
Oh My God omg or (comically) zomg
Parents over shoulder pos
parents behind back pbb
Please plz, plox, or plez
Probably probz, prbly, prolly, proly, or prob
Love <3 or luv
Peace pce, pece, or \/ (V sign)
Really rele
Reals rlz
Right rite
Rolling on the floor laughing (out loud) rofl(ol) or (comically) Roflcopter
Rolling on (the) floor laughing my ass off roflmao or rotflmao
says ses or sez
See you/see you later cya, cu, or cya/cu l8er/l8a
Seriously srsly
Shit outta luck SOL
Something sth, s/t, or sumthin
Son of a bitch sob
Sorry sry, "soz", or "sori"
Talk to you later ttyl or t2yl
Tata for now ttfn
Text txt
Text back txt bck or tb
Thanks thanx, thx, tnx, 10Q, or tnx
Thank you ty or "thnk u"
Thank you very much tyvm
Tomorrow tom, 2moz, 2moro, 2mrw or 2mara
To be honest tbh
Welcome Back wb
Write Back wb
What wat, wut, wht,wha or wot
Whatever w/e or wateva or watev
What the fuck wtf
With w/

[edit] Frequency of use

In one American study, researchers found that less than 20% of messages used SMS language.[5]

In a collection gathered by linguist David Crystal, just 10% of messages used SMS language [5]

[edit] The use of txt in school exams

There have been some reports in the media of children using SMS language for essays in school:

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Relevant literature

[edit] External links

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