Jargon Busting No. 22 – Text Speak

TEXT SPEAK is short hand for mobile phone messages, instant messaging, online chat and email. When mobile phones were new sending a text message was a significant undertaking, pressing buttons multiple times to find the letter you required plus text messages were restricted to 160 characters.

Just like in the days of telegraph, text speak tries to use the least letter possible to make words or phrases. Text speak was and is also used in online chatting, whether that is in the early days of internet forums or today in online chats and emails.

Generally speaking vowels suffer the most from text speak, they are left out of words for the receiver to insert back into the word; so text speak becomes txt spk. Text speak also uses the sounds of letters and numbers to make up shorter words for example great become gr8.

For many people new to text speak it looks like a secret code but the trick is to say it out loud (or maybe in your head) often saying exactly what you see will help you understand the message. If all else fails you can use website such http://transl8it.com/ to help you.

I find that if someone sends me a text speak word I don’t understand I just google it to find the meaning.

Here are a few popular text speak words and phrases.

gr8 = Great

IMHO = In my humble opinion

LOL = Laugh out loud

THX = Thanks

PLS = Please

I ❤ U = I love you

R U OK = Are you OK?

But my personal favourite is WOMBAT = waste of money, brains and time

Do you have any favourites?

Just to show what is possible when you combine emoticon and text speak enjoy Bill Bailey’s clever use of emoticons and text speak to make an Internet Love Song.

2 thoughts on “Jargon Busting No. 22 – Text Speak

  1. Anyone who has learned shorthand should understand the concept of text speak quite easily, as shorthand usually leaves out the vowels and has symbols for common combinations of letters (eg for prefixes and suffixes). Once you get used to it, it’s surprisingly easy to read text without vowels. It’s the acronyms that are harder to get used to.

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