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Texting jargon just isn’t for me

By Staff | May 28, 2010

Some people are surprised when I tell them that I don’t text.

I can do it, I just choose not to.

I h8 txting. Okay, maybe h8 is a little strong. I just don’t have the desire to pound out an encrypted message with my thumbs in order to communicate with my friends and family.

There’s just something silly to me about communicating with someone via an abbreviated code language. I have serious difficulty understanding all the shorthand used in the texting world anyway. Plus, when you work in a business that’s all about using correct grammar and sentence structure it’s difficult to retrain your brain to disregard all the accurate and acceptable rules of proper English.

I have trouble using shortened versions of words. Oh, sure I can use slang when I speak with the best of ’em, but not the new language created by the texting world. I also have a hard time not using proper punctuation.

It’s a real shame what texting practices have done to further destroy people’s usage of the English language. It’s no wonder we are seeing an whole new generation of children who cannot spell or use proper punctuation these days.

I have texted a few times, but because I am a stickler about using proper language and punctuation, a text message that would really only take a few seconds for the average seasoned texter, takes me several minutes to pound out on the keypad of my cell phone. It’s just not worth it in the end. Instead, I speed dial the phone number and just talk. It may sound silly, but it’s just easier for me.

For the texting handicapped like me, there are numerous places you can go on the Internet to decode a text message. With an estimated 82 million people who text regularly, the cryptic codes have become common knowledge. But for those of us who are not text savvy, we need a little help with the lingo.

Acronyms are an integral part of computer culture. The new lingo is called shorthand and online jargon and using it in the proper context is called netiquette.

There are even standards for conveying mood or context. Texting in ALL CAPS is considered shouting.

I was shocked to see the long lists of online jargon. But I guess when the computer culture invents a whole new language, it’s bound to be extensive. Oh, we all know the BFF (best friends forever) and LOL (laugh out loud), but there are long, long lists of texting shorthand. There’s an acronym for just about every popular and common phrase. My favorite is AAAAA. It stands for American Association Against Acronym Abuse. Now that’s a group to which I could become a card carrying member.

I came across a rather amusing little joke on the Internet entitled “If God Had Texted the Ten Commandments…” Chances are you’ve never seen these written out in shorthand. But if you’ve even wondered how the 10 Commandments would appear on modern Moses’s cellphone here you go.

1. no1 b4 me. srsly.

2. dnt wrshp pix/idols

3. no omg’s

4. no wrk on w/end

5. ur m&d r cool

6. dnt kill ppl

7. :-X only w/m8

8. dnt steal

9. dnt lie re: bf

10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8 or ox or dnkey. myob

Now the real test will be if you can decipher the texting jargon to get the real message behind the message. You know, when I think about this it’s not so bad. Maybe the new texting generation would pay more attention to the message behind the 10 Commandments if we translate it into their language.

Mullally is a Tribune writer.

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