Texts are ubiquitous for the younger generation, but for the non-teens among us, it can be tricky to figure out what texts are and how to send them.
Not sure what texting is? Think of it as an abbreviated form of e-mail sent between cell phones. If you bought a new cell phone within the last few years, chances are it's able to send and receive text messages. Check your owner's manual or go to your service provider's shop for a quick tutorial on how to start texting on your phone. Ask about rate plans too: you may want to amend your current plan depending on how much you and your family members are texting.
Because text messages are limited to 140 characters, texting comes with its own language of shortcuts. "When you have a lot to say and a limited space in which to say it, abbreviations become popular," says Mark Carlin, Vice President of TeleMessage.
Until Rosetta Stone comes up with a multi-CD language lesson, the best way to learn this language is to wade in and start texting it.
For the most part, abbreviations follow these main rules:
Phonetic soundalikes: Letters and numbers that sound like the words you wish to write. "Before" becomes b4, "See you" becomes cu, "Later" becomes "l8r."
Acronyms: The first letters or words in a sentence or phrase. "In my opinion" becomes imo, "Be right there" becomes brt.
Disemvowelment: Remove the vowels for brevity, as in pls ("Please") or nvr ("Never").
Combinations: Others mix-and-match the above rules. ilu2 means "I love you, too."
Here are some common shortcuts you can use. (UPPER CAPS CONVEY SHOUTING, so avoid them unless you mean it.)
143 or 459 (I love you)
brb (Be right back)
cm (Call me!)
ct (Can’t talk)
cyrma (Call your mother)
cyrpa (Call your father)
deti (Don’t even think it!)
eol (End of lecture)
g1 (Good one)
gtgb (Got to go. Bye!)
ilu (I love you)
lvu (I love you)
mu (miss you)
ruok (Are you okay?)
ptmm (please tell me more)
xoxo (Hugs and kisses)
yw (You’re welcome)
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