dz wtg lk ths ps u of?
Can you even read the line above? OK, it isn’t really part of the texting lexicon, or at least I don’t think it is.
I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but here goes:
I have two things to say in defense of what I call “Chatspeak”, or the abbreviations used by the texting public. Actually three, because I am noticing that “texting” is being marked as a non-word by the WordPress spelling and grammar checker. But that’s OK, because “WordPress” is also marked that way.
First: Chatspeak, abbreviations like HRU for “how are you?”, were for where, u, ur, and so forth are really nothing new. That is to say the habit of using them is not new. The actual abbreviations come and go, much like any form of slang… and with the same reaction, I think, to the older generations who find them lazy, uneducated, improper, scornful… well, you get the idea. Fill in the blank.
Abbreviations have been around for centuries, and are used today for pretty much the same reason they were used back in the day. And the reason? Two, actually, space and time.
Originally abbreviations were used to conserve space. When “writing” on stone, metal or clay, you had to plan ahead to prevent having too many words for the available space.
These days it is space and time. Twitter, for example, allows only 140 characters per message. It can take real effort to get a complete message in 140 characters. Texting quickly has become important. After all, we live in a “sound byte” world, now.
For an interesting “dictionary” of texting abbreviations, take a look at Netlingo.
Second: …and this one you really need to pay attention to. English is EVOLVING!
I love the language skills of the average writer in the 19th century. I admire the writing of the well-educated, but to hold language to ransom because the new version isn’t the one you grew up with… well, as the lab scientists would say, “there ain’t no cheese down that tunnel.