Text speak is officially a form of communication for email and SMS messaging. How it all began is quite ambiguous, but one thing is sure; texting is here to stay. Many people who own a mobile phone are already aware of many text symbols and text abbreviations, but do they know what all of them mean? And are these text abbreviations the same for every country?
|SEE ALSO: Inside the World of Bullying Texts|
Before the dawn of texting and emailing there were other forms of quick writing letters and symbols that people used to communicate with one another. In ancient Egypt they had two types of short, symbolic writing methods to get messages transmitted quickly. They were called Hieratic and Demotic. In the 4th century BC the old Greeks used tachygraphy (swift writing). All of this gave us the swiftest form of quick writing today known as shorthand. Shorthand was invented by Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897) and was first introduced to the public in 1837. Down through the years it has evolved tremendously and was translated into 15 different languages. The mode of swift writing was popular in the UK and USA and was used by secretaries, reporters and writers, but became obsolete after the pocket tape recorder came into effect. In the following, we will share a list of the most modern text abbreviations our young men and women use today.
Common Text Abbreviations
S2R: Send to Receive
S4L: Spam for Life
SBIA: Stands Back in Amazement
SBTA: Sorry, Being Thick Again
SC: Stay Cool
SCNR: Sorry, Could Not Resist
SETE: Smiling Ear to Ear
SF: Surfer Friendly or Science Fiction
SMS: Short Message Service (Text Messages to Mobile & Cell Phones)
SNAFU: Situation Normal, All Fluffed Up
SNAG: Sensitive New Age Guy
SNERT: Snotty Nosed Egotistical Rotten Teenager
SO: Significant Other
SOHF: Sense of Humour Failure
SOL: Sooner or Later
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
SRO: Standing Room Only
STYS: Speak to You Soon
SUYF: Shut Up You Fool
SWAK: Sent with a Kiss or Sealed with a Kiss
SWALK: Sent with a Loving Kiss
SWDYT: So What Do You Think?
SWG: Scientific Wild Guess
SWTDRMZ: Sweet Dreams
SYS: See You Soon
A term such as IOTTMCO, intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, is, in a way, slightly contradictory. The effect would be much more persuasive if used it in natural spelling rather than text abbreviations. However, for teens, the mere choice of using text abbreviation is fun and the challenge of coming up with new words and phrases is always a treat.
Text Speak Abbreviations
121: One to one (private chat invitation)
2U2: To You, Too
411: All the information
AAMOF: As a Matter of Fact
BAK: Back At Keyboard
BBIAS: Be back in a second
BOT: Back on Topic
BRB: Be Right Back
BTW: By the way
CD9/Code 9: ‘Parents are around’
CRS: Can’t Remember “Stuff”
CU: See You
CUL(8R): See You Later
CWOT: Complete Waste of Time
CYA: See Ya
DITYID: Did I Tell You I’m Distressed?
DIY: Do It Yourself
EOD: End of Discussion
F2F: Face To Face
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
FYI: For Your Information
/ga: Go Ahead
GAL: Get A Life
GBTW: Get Back To Work
GFETE: Grinning From Ear to Ear
GTR: Got to run
Many short terms that have been used as abbreviation for decades have now been included as texting abbreviations in the world and some real words have been converted into text speak. For example, SNAFU, traditionally meaning confused or chaotic, is now Situation Normal, All Fluffed Up. Have a nice day is HAND; SOL, the French word for sun is Smiling Out Loud. KISS is Keep It Simple Stupid; and PAW is Parents Are Watching.
HAND: Have a Nice Day
HHIS: Head hanging in shame
HHOK: Ha Ha Only Kidding
HTH: Hope This Helps
IAE: In Any Event
IC: I See
ILBL8: I’ll be late
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
IOTTMCO: Intuitively Obvious To The Most Casual Observer
IRL: In Real Life
ISP: Internet Service Provider
JIC: Just In Case
J/K: Just kidding
KK: Okay, okay (I understand what you are saying)
KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid
LOL: Laughing Out Loud
LTHTT: Laughing too hard to type
Texting short messages and using text slang abbreviations are a norm for teens. In fact, many of the short-hand, text language we see today originated from teens who translated, abridged, improvised and ‘created’ their own abbreviations for texting. Some of the lingo is truly ingenious and just goes to show what intellectual ideas the world of technology can spawn in today’s generation.
Looking at the list below you will notice that numerals have been substituted for words. At first sight, this is very confusing for a lot of people until they have it explained. For instance, a short text conversation can say:
Gonna go grab some chips and a drink. Want me get something for u 2?
Translated, this means: do you want me to get something for you too?
Text speak also uses a series of consonants without vowels. For instance, txtng means texting; b4 means before; icu is short for I see you. When used in sentences, it’s easier to understand.
LTNS: Long Time No See
LYLAB: Love you like a brother
LYLAS: Love you like a sister
MorF: Male or Female, or person who asks that question
MTCW: My Two Cents Worth
NP: No problem or Nosy parents
NRN: No Reply Necessary
OMG: Oh my God!
OTF: On the Floor
OLL: Online Love
P911: Parents coming into room (alert)
PAW or 9: Parents are watching
PCMCIA: People Can’t Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms
PIR: Parents in room
POV: Point of View or Parent over shoulder (if used by teenagers)
PSOS: Parents standing over shoulder
PU: That Stinks!
This one – PU – is really interesting. Back in the day people simply spelled it phew. Short speaking has brought us into an entirely different dimension. Judging from the amount of short message systems, we are sure that this method of communication is not only preferable to actual long language, but it is also convenient for those who need to send a message very quickly. If there was ever a need to send an emergency message or SOS – save our souls, a message sent via morse code or semaphore (sending messages via flags) – short texting enables you to do this.
REHI: Hello Again (re-Hi!)
ROFL: Rolling on Floor Laughing
RTDox: Read the Documentation/Directions
RUOK: Are You OK?
SNAFU: Situation Normal; All Fouled Up
SO: Significant Other
SOL: Smiling Out Loud (or You’re Out of Luck)
TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
TAFN: That’s All For Now
TSWC: Tell Someone Who Cares
TTBOMK: To The Best Of My Knowledge
TTFN: Ta-Ta For Now
TTYL(8R): Talk To You Later
UOK: Are you OK?
URL: Web Page Address
w/b: Welcome Back
WU?: What’s Up?
WWW: World Wide Web
WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get
Y2K: Year 2000
The text abbreviation “fml” has more than one meaning. It is a term of over exaggerated woe used by teens who feel their world is coming to an end, usually because of something they did, but it isn’t as dramatic as they depict. Certain people have tried to pass the meaning off as ‘Forgive Me Lord’ as a less crude meaning than the original, which is a crude term using expletives to describe one’s miserable life. It’s used among friends only and not appropriate for business messages.
Text Abbreviations and Emoticons
Emoticons are a mixture of punctuation marks and numerals combined to create human facial expressions. This is one of the more creative and artistic forms of text speaking. Even though this method does not transmit any messages exactly, it does portray to the receiver how the sender feels at the time. A few social media networks allow members to use emoticons to display how they feel. The most commonly used keyboard punctuation marks are the brackets, colon and inverted triangles. 😉 We have just placed a colon, a dash, and a bracket in order to form a face winking. It is really fun once you learn how to do it.
02: Your (or my) two cents worth
2MI: Too much information
2U2: To You Too
4COL: For Crying Out Loud
<chuckle>: The speaker chuckles
<frown>: The speaker is frowning
<grin>: The speaker is grinning
<smile>: The one writing the message is smiling
[$X$]: No spam !!
JK: Just Kidding
?: I have a question
!: I have a comment
Certain short expressions like DIY and @ are now being used in standard messages other than texting and email. In fact, DIY has been a part of the urban language for several years now. There are a recorded total of 9090 abbreviations for texting and slang words to date. The use of short language is a psychological depiction of the speed modern times has brought us to. We rush breakfast, rush to work, rush to get homework assignments done – in short, we are at constant high-speed level.