Texting

June 19, 2012

I’m still fairly old-school when it comes to texting grammar. I don’t think I’ve ever used u in place of you or r to mean are, although I have laughed out loud in acronym form once or twice! My kids, however, are quite adept at modern shorthand when chatting online with their friends.

The side of me that embraces technology and all things new is fine with this, but my classic core loves seeing the proper use of your and you’re, not to mention there, they’re, and their!

Hw abt u? R u dwn w/ txt spk? (Oh, Friends! You don’t even know how I cringed when typing those sentences!) Or does it drive you bananas? I’d love to hear your opinions! Srsly.

Miroslava Duma texting, shot by Tommy Ton for Symphony.

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jan @ Family Bites June 19, 2012 at 5:42 am

Oh, it drives me bananas, too. My tween is known for “idk” which translates to “I don’t know”, “kk” which means “okay”, and “gtgb” which obviously stands for “got to go, bye”. Ugh!

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2 Tsultrim June 19, 2012 at 5:45 am

I don’t like it.. I guess I am old school too. Although, when you have to write a long text message, sometimes it can be useful (or faster).

I think it wouldn’t be a problem, if there weren’t so many mispelling problems for kids and teenagers and young people! In my defense, as I might be mispelling too, I am not a native english speaker….

But I have seen it with students in high school and at the university who write messages to their teachers/professors as if it was a text message!!!! Or even do mistakes in their exams that come from the habitude of texting…. Oh my! Oh my! And this is happening in the US, in european countries, in South America…so I guess we should be more careful with it!

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3 Tara June 19, 2012 at 6:14 am

This is my problem with the shorthand–kids still need to learn when it is appropriate! It’s about correct spelling and sentence composition as well the polite way to address strangers in an email (please begin an email with “Dear X,” or “Hi Y,” and sign off with a “Sincerely,” or “Best,” etc…). There’s a time and place for everything, as long as they learn the rules in the real world, too.

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4 Jen June 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

I’m with Tara. I think abbreviations are fine for texting, but our kids must learn proper spelling and grammar – and when to use it – so they can communicate appropriately.

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5 natalie June 19, 2012 at 5:51 am

I always felt that since it never took THAT much longer to type out all of “you” instead of “u”, then why not do it the correct way. Also, most phones now have predictive text so when I’m texting I rarley even have to spell the full word because it already predicts what I’m going to write.

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6 Barefoot Hippie Girl June 19, 2012 at 5:54 am

I rarely use the shorthand. I type out the words…even with my number keypad texting. I agree-kids don’t know how to write regularly anymore. Both spelling and grammar stink. Oh well. What can we do?

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7 Barefoot Hippie Girl June 19, 2012 at 5:54 am

Ps-I love that picture you posted and the dress. Amazing!

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8 Malia O. June 19, 2012 at 5:57 am

I love that dress! I pass on shorthand, I just can’t do it.

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9 çiçekçi June 19, 2012 at 6:12 am

I am quite adept at modern shorthand.

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10 Camille June 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

Cringe. If shorthand is used often enough they won’t know the correct usage. And with auto correct it practically does it for you . . .

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11 yours truly June 19, 2012 at 6:19 am

Obvs I think it’s tots necsry. Who wnts 2 read evrthng u rly have to say?!!

Okay really, that took me twice as long:) It drives me nuts.

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12 Yvette June 19, 2012 at 6:21 am

I don’t like it. I’ve noticed that teenagers don’t know how to spell now. I love technology but I don’t like what it’s doing to grammar, spelling and penmanship. My kids’ school doesn’t even teach cursive anymore! Can you believe it!! My kids have shown great interest in it so I’ve been teaching them myself. Guess it’ll be a lost art like sewing.

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13 Mary-My Life in Scotland June 19, 2012 at 6:22 am

text speech drives me insane! Is it really that hard to type in the actual words? I hate it!! I can’t even read it. What are you trying to say anyway?! It’s like trying to decider the Da Vinci code when trying to read a message. I actually think it makes the person look un-intelligent. I can’t help it. I still write out every single word.

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14 Brynne June 19, 2012 at 6:39 am

I text, but I use them more like short e-mail messages. My husband jokingly calls me the “epic texter.”

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15 Emilee June 19, 2012 at 6:44 am

I text using full punctuation, capitalization, and written-out words. I’m the only one of my siblings (six brothers, one sister) that does, and they tease me that I text just like Dad, but I almost feel like I’m posting a thing of beauty when I hit send.

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16 Lauren June 19, 2012 at 6:48 am

Ick! I can’t force myself to type in proper text speak! I am actually a huge hold-out when it comes to texting at all and probably only send about two or three per month. If I have a quick question, I’d rather call someone. If it needs to be written out, I’ll send an email. (I do realize that by refusing to text in this day and age I run the risk of being socially irrelevant at the ripe old age of 32, but I still can’t make myself do it!)

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17 Cammie June 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

I never short hand. My MIL does and it makes me indescribably uncomfortable when I receive her off the wall shorthand texts.
My mom’s a high school English teacher. She received a paper from a 10th grader with no grammar. Not even a period or capital letter. She showed it to my dad and he said, “Look, it’s a text.”

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18 Anne M. June 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

That’s sad!

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19 LP June 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Well, isn’t MIL short hand?

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20 Shelley Abreu June 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

I’m with you Gabrielle. I like proper English! It makes the communication feel a bit more personal, and dare I say, old-fashioned, as if I was writing a letter! Imagine that!

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21 beyond June 19, 2012 at 7:19 am

drives me bananas, too. i do certain abbreviations, but nothing like the kids are doing. i don’t understand most of it either. i guess i’m old. :)

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22 sarah June 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

no short cuts for me…and i have a hard time reading it when people do it to me.
can i have that dress? love.

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23 Martha Frances June 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

I use text-y shorthand constantly (when texting). It feels too formal to text full sentences – if I have that much to say I’ll just call or email. On some level I think every generation feels their children are eroding the English language. I know my grandmother was sure I was. BTW, I luv Design Mom!!

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24 Shelley June 19, 2012 at 7:38 am

Coming from someone who is extremely old school — Wait for it- I don’t text. At all. I cringe at the thought of shorthand and someones face constantly planted into their phone. Drives me crazy. My phone is only used for phone calls. And shorthand only when taking notes from my boss. :)

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25 Jenni Bailey June 19, 2012 at 7:45 am

Call me conservative but I can’t but feel that if this next generation truly wants to grow up able to communicate on a global level, true literacy is going to be crucial. The leaders of the world aren’t going to be the ones who struggle to understand even their own first language. I hate to say it but the perception around the world of the “lazy American” isn’t being corrected by text shortcuts and poor spelling.

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26 Jenni Bailey June 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

*can’t help but feel, I meant to say. ;)

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27 Amanda June 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

I, too, would cringe. Proper grammar and proper punctuation for the win (even while texting)!

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28 Barchbo June 19, 2012 at 8:26 am

I am an English teacher by training so standard usage only for me! Also, I saw so many kids who had not mastered appropriate language usage adopt the texting syntax and their “normal” usage really suffered. My ELL students were the worst – it’s how they were learning English.

I don’t know that I could have powered through and written those text-speak sentences, Gabby. Kudos!

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29 jessica June 19, 2012 at 8:53 am

I text my husband and friends a lot. I always try to use proper spelling and punctation. Old school/new school!

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30 The Emily June 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

I cannot do texting shorthand. I just can’t. I even tried yesterday with a u for you but before I sent it I went back and fixed it!

Also, how great is that picture? So gorgeous.

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31 Jennifer @ kidoing! June 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

While an instant message can be useful on some occasions, in general I *abhor* texting. I think it’s obnoxious (how many little beeps can one take!) and impersonal for anything other than “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” or “leaving now” type messages. While I do have texting on my phone, I see a future without texting (and maybe even without internet access) for me!

On the topic of texting “shorthand”, I think it’s creating a generation of kids who are lazy, poor spellers, and way too casual.

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32 bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com June 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

what a gorgeous photo — I love the color of her dress. Texting is so handy but it’s also addicting. I pretty much only use LOL — I’m not sure what any of the other shorthand even means.

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33 Kari June 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

I hate text speak. Just spell you for u! I will abbreviate things like prob for probably, so maybe I’m a hypocrite.

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34 Deidra June 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

Just last night as I was texting my sister I told her it would be a lot quicker if I didn’t care about punctuation, capitalization and grammar. So not only am I not okay with text speech, but it needs to be correct and proper English.

I once tutored a daughter of a very well-educated and well to-do couple. I couldn’t get over the lawyer mom texting me things like, “we r going 2 be late. b there b4 3.” Cringe!

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35 Sharon @ Discovering blog June 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

I love texting, but I hate text speech!

I want to smash my head against my desk any time I get an email at work and some working adult emails me and has text speech in their email!

DO NOT LOL ME AT WORK! That is just ridiculous! And type out “you” instead of “u” – it doesn’t take any more effort.

On a side note – I’m not a fan of LOL. It always reminds me of Homer Simpson, when he starts drooling over something. That’s the sound that pops in my head when I read LOL.

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36 Kayt June 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’m on the younger side, 25, and I’m of two minds on this one. I never ever use crud like ‘u’ or ‘ur’, ’2′ for ‘to’, or ’4′ for ‘for’, but I do use things like LOL, TY, YW, and JK. I think there is a delicate line between shortcuts that are pretty universally understood and shortcuts that are incomprehensible. I certainly don’t use shorthand anywhere but text messages, and, if the tone is right, comments on blogs. But not every blog, by any means!

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37 Kayt June 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

Oh, and I saw BTW, I am quite guilty of that one, too! I love to text. I work in an office where I can’t really be talking on my personal phone, but I can text to my heart’s content. I also have a terrible memory, so I really appreciate having a written message to refer back to.

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38 Michelle Glauser June 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

I’m a purist as well, so I have to keep myself from correcting people all day long.

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39 Charissa June 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

It definitely drives me crazy. But I do misspell terribly when I text (because of my fat fingers, I guess), so I do find myself shortening words at times when I’m frustrated and trying to go fast.

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40 Janae @ Bring Joy June 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Believe me, I’ve resisted shorthand. I was an English major in college, & feel a sense of duty, albeit a slightly self-righteous one, to keep the language “pure.” However, since joining up on Twitter, the 140 characters kinda puts a damper on my lofty goals. Either I have to say less, or shorter my you’s to u’s. I’ve chosen the later. So be it.

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41 Renee June 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I very much dislike the abbreviations! I really think that as a whole the art of proper spelling and grammar is lost. I also think that not using abbreviations comes across as more intelligent.

I hate LOL, I refuse to use it.

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42 Leanne June 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I am a fan of the proper written word so that is what I will stick to. My first encounter with texting language was a funny one. I was corresponding with someone I didn’t know about potentially joining their volleyball team when he ended his e-mail with “lol”. I found this very strange and personal since I took it to mean “lots of love”. I almost didn’t join the team and am thankful to my friend for clarifying.

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43 Janae @ Bring Joy June 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Leanne, your lol experience is funny, & an important one to remember, especially for those of us who do use abbreviations in our correspondence. A good reminder that miscommunication can happen if we’re not speaking the same language!

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44 tere June 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Even if we like it or don’t ( I don’t) the fact is these cultural changes are the ones that make language morph. Soon many of those words will be recognized and part of our dictionaries, because language is a never-ending cultural flow. We will be one day like elizabethans for our grandkids I guess. In spanish is happening too!

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45 Laura Leane June 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I only use the slang ironically, 4realz.

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46 Heidi June 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I like texting more than I ever thought I would but at the same time, I only use it if I have a super quick question or if I’m inviting a lot of people to a last minute beach outing or something of that nature. I guess I’m still a little old-school with the lingo though; I love my qwerty keyboard since it makes typing out complete words a breeze.

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47 Lisa June 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I love texting. It enables me to communicate quickly and and as a mom of 5 young kids (too young to text yet), I need all the help I can get. However, I don’t ever shorten things and I always use correct punctuation and capitalization. I think I’m one of few. I worry that we’re losing a sense of the written word when we shorten everything.

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48 Gillian June 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Uugh I cringe whenever I get a shorthand text! In fairness I’ve noticed a lot less of it over the last few years and I assumed it was something to do with the spread of smartphones.
There have been a few people I know who have gone down several notches in my estimation after getting texts from them. I really can’t respect these people anymore!

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49 Miss Frazzled June 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I hate texting, period.

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50 Katie June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I like to send instant messages via my iphone to my husband while he’s at work. It’s a good way for us to touch base especially since he doesn’t usually have the time to call or email.

But some abbreviations like “ROTFL” drive me crazy. I have a family member who uses that abbreviation and others like it in emails and on facebook a lot. And all I can think is, “are you really rolling around on the flooring laughing about that?”

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51 Kelly June 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Like many commenters above, I cannot stand text speak – JUST TYPE THE WORD for goodness sakes! Many people have unlimited text plans nowadays, so this should not be such a big issue.

But perhaps even more obnoxious to me is the lack of punctuation so often seen in texts. On several occasions I’ve had to re-read a text several times to be sure I understood the intended message. Really people? Are we too lazy to type a period at the end of a sentence?!

Rnt Ovr.

(Rant Over)

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52 Janan W June 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I really do Laugh Out Loud a lot! so I use lol. But that is it, everything else is written out.

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53 Sarah June 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Text speak drives me nutso. I use full spelling, grammar, punctuation.

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54 Christy June 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Oh, I cringe! I’ve even written a text shorthand and gone back to replace it!

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55 rachel schindler June 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I am so with you on the texting. I love texting, but I fill like I am dissing the person if I use “u” instead of “you”. I spell everything out. But I have used the lol, even though my kids roll their eyes at me. So not cool for their Mother.

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56 julie June 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh no!! I do not like it at all for myself. I type EVERYTHING out with punctuation and spelling correct and grammer in tact as well. My kids laugh at me but are quick to point out when I make a spelling error, or miss a letter. (The keyboards are so freaking small!!) My husband got me a phone with a keyboard so I could communicate with my kids away at college. They just don’t answer calls anymore, but do text back and forth with me. I could not figure out the number pad lettering to suit my obsession with detail, so the keyboard helps but, I usually take so long to get some messages out that I end up calling. My niece is a wizard at texting, but I cannot answer her quick enough to carry on a real conversation, . . . so I end up calling her too. I really don’t like this new form of messaging, but it does have it’s pluses.

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57 bec June 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm

depends on which phone I’m using! if it is the old school one with the alphanumeric keypad, I’m all for using u for you…

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58 Eva June 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I always use entire words. I try really hard not to cringe when I get short hand texts from others but I’m not entirely successful.

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59 April O. June 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Bananas!!!

I worked too hard to learn my own language to sabotage my grammar like that. It eventually becomes habit and spills over into other aspects of your writing (I’ve seen this happen to my once-articulate-on-paper father-in-law).

Oh well though; to each his own. ;)

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60 Heidi June 20, 2012 at 12:42 am

I was an English major in college and thought I would cringe at “u” for you and “Y” for why? — and admittedly I don’t know all the shortcuts, but upon trying to teach my kindergartner to read I’ve often thought — maybe the “right” way is what got us into this mess– I mean how do you explain why when my four year old says “cat” starts with a “K” that she is wrong or why “you” is spelled with an “ou” that is supposed to make the “ow” in ouch… so maybe some (and I say “some” very pointedly) of the abbreviations are the way things should have started out as… just thoughts…thanks for provoking this great discussion.

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61 pinksuedeshoe June 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

I kind of agree with you. English has so many inconsistencies that make it hard to teach. But after having spoken it for going on 30 years they are so second nature to us, but when you have to teach all those rules and exceptions it makes you rethink the whole thing. And that’s where text speak drives me nuts. It is for the most part phonetically correct. Kind of. But our language is rarely phonetically correct. Which puts the two at odds I think. Text speak/shorthand is it’s own dialect of English I guess. But I still have to sound out most of those shortened garbled words. Which is NOT faster … :)

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62 Sally June 20, 2012 at 1:27 am

I just can’t bring myself to abbreviate my words in text messages. I can’t bring myself to miss a capital letter or punctuation either. It just seems so lazy. No matter how much of a hurry I’m in I always make sure to write out my message correctly. That said, it takes me so long to work out what all these abbreviations mean that attempting to use them would take me so much longer than just spelling correctly!

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63 Martina June 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

One of my friends (28 yo) abbreviates everything. Cud and wud for could and would are the ones that drive me nuts. With auto-correct and auto-suggestion, that seems more unnecessary. My phone would recognize “wud” as a typo and probably change it to “wad”, but if I start typing wou… would would pop right up. Funny problems we have these days. LOL. Thx, c ya!

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64 Darcy June 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I am an english fanatic. I like proper spelling, good grammar, and punctuation. I send THE longest text ever; every time. I occasionally use def instead of definitely, bc instead of because and the wretched u instead of you. Otherwise, I text like I speak and write. I don’t understand text speak very well either. I have a friend (whom I don’t text often) who only text in that shorthanded (lazy, in my opinion) way. I can not hardly read it and it makes me a bit crazy. Ps I am only 32, but I am pretty sure that shorthand class was added to high school curriculum well after I graduated. LOL. :) Pps I do use emoticons A LOT.

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65 Mark June 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

So long as my children can string complete sentences together, write a decent essay, and differentiate between there, their, and they’re, I do not have a problem with them using shorthand in their text messages. I see shorthand like slang or pig latin and being able to switch slang on/off when appropriate/inappropriate is a form of intelligence. I spoke casually when skateboarding with my friends, using “dude” to no end, yet I consistently won spelling bees and writing contests in school. I learned to communicate appropriately for the situation. My children are intelligent and I am confident that they will learn to do the same.

Shorthand is not meant to be understood by our generation, much like mohawks were not meant to be understood by my parent’s generation. The idea of toddlers sporting a “faux hawk” to church or 10 year olds rocking mohawks to soccer tryouts would have been (and still is) shocking to my parents. In my middle-class, suburbanite reality mohawks are not uncommon and faux hawks are ubiquitous. Shorthand will be like mohawks when my children are grown: ubiquitous. Possibly even normal. The point I am making is this: we are getting old. LOL!

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66 Alice June 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I’ve only recently turned eighteen, so I’m sure you can imagine that I get a lot of texts like these. I suppose you get used to it, so it doesn’t really bother me on a day to day basis. In fact, I think it’s pretty funny how common I see ‘abreviations’ that are longer than the original word!
One area where it does stand out for me though, is in a scrapbook I passed around for my friends to sign on our last day primary school (I would have been almost 13, 2006). The messages which were clearly intended to be heartfelt were rendered insincere, I think, because it looks sloppy and thoughtless. I guess it seemed cool at the time, but looking back on it, it’s kind of disappointing.

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67 Jennifer June 22, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I can’t handle it. Perhaps that makes me old and out of touch (alas!), but I cannot handle it–sometimes I can’t even figure it out! ;)

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68 Lydia Joy June 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Ugh… this new-fangled text grammar makes me crazy bonkers!! I just can’t stand it. Especially when people use it outside texting – even worse!

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