How-to: Text-speak

Texting By Alton (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0, via Wikimedia CommonsThe pollution of the English language continues apace (‘OMG, I sound like a member of the Academie Francais!’).

Text-speak and the Internet are driving the latest short-hand in verbal and written communication. Literal short-hand, I mean thumb-typing. You don’t get shorter hands than that.

You may think this is the End of th World as We Know It. Or you may marvel at the ingenuity with which we pack meaningful information, courtesy and etiquette into our messages.

Here follows a few examples. Feel free to use them in front of your kids for maximum embarassment. AJS

  • ty – ‘thank you’
  • yw – ‘you’re welcome’
  • O RLY – ‘Oh really’ – punctuate for effect
  • coo – ‘cool’ A faux expression from California. Apparently.
  • gerd – ‘ermahgerd’ – god / oh my god! OMG is so last year.
  • hmu – ‘Hit Me Up.’ Not Britney Spears new single; “contact me”, “text me”, “phone me” or “email me”.
  • wut – ‘what’
  • wuteva – ‘whatever’
  • props – ‘Proper Respect.’ Acknowledgement
  • sup – ‘What’s Up’. Come on, it’s better than Budweiser’s “wassup.”
  • idk – ‘I Don’t Know.’
  • wbu – ‘What About You?’

Image credit: Texting By Alton (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

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