English Language and Grammar Stuff – “Text Language”

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This post is part of a special series where i talk about the English language and grammar.

Today i want to talk about “text speak” or “text language”.

As you all know, it consists of the language which developed when using text messaging services on your phone or even when using online messaging. Also known as SMS. It is a form of shorthand.


Text = txt

Later – l8r/l8tr

See you = cu

… and so on.

I’ve always been a stickler for proper grammar, and long ago i decided that, as i spent so much of my youth learning how to use grammar and spell things properly, that i would always do thing properly.

However, when i first got my own mobile phone at the age of about 14, i was obviously delighted to finally have a mobile like most of my friends did by then, even if it did resemble a small brick with a eye-straining blue screen. Being young and having very little money to spend on my phone, i tried to save money on by starting to use text language when i texted people. Words were abbreviated to within an inch of their lives, and grammar went out the window. But every character counted when you only had so many before you started a new text message which cost more money, especially if you had a lot to say.

This lasted until around the time i went to university and got Facebook.

Suddenly i reverted back to writing out full text messages with proper grammar and spelling. Maybe because i had more time to compose messages? Maybe because i had more money to spend? Maybe because suddenly i didn’t have as many people to text? Or maybe because i started using other means of communication?

They were all factors, but the last one was probably more important. Everyone was using Facebook to send messages to each other, and using the Chat feature for longer online conversations. I used email to communicate with friends, sending great long essays with proper grammar, structure and spelling. I used MSN Messenger until it fell out of fashion and then started using Skype for long conversations for those days when talking was needed.

I no longer use text language on a regular basis. The only things i still use is “u” instead of “you” occasionally, and also the odd emoticon because sometimes a little face conveys more feeling than words can.

I don’t miss it at all.

The thing that bugs me is that so many people still use it but don’t realise that it has affected their normal grammar and spelling. They write things like “text” instead of “texted” – it’s past tense!

I was worried for a while that i was using text language too much and would end up making silly mistakes in exams and coursework, but thankfully my fears were unfounded! I seem to have escaped unscathed (for the most part)!

Does text language bug you?


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