What Are Examples of Language Unique to Texting?


Quick Answer

Texting language is commonly known as SMS language or "textese," and it refers to abbreviations and slang used in mobile phone messaging. A common feature of this language is the use of symbols and numbers instead of letters, for example "10Q" to mean "thank you" or "2nite" instead of "tonight."

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The language emerged in the early years of mobile text messaging, and it developed as a way to make texting faster and less expensive, since messages were limited to 160 characters at the time. The language became so popular that people started using it out of its original context, for example, in emails or on social networks such as Facebook.

There are no standard rules for the creation and use of texting language, but some common traits do exist. For example, users often shorten words by removing vowels, such as using "txt" instead of "text" or ""thks" for "thanks." Numbers are often used as shorthand for homophones, for example by writing "l8r" instead of "later" or "2" as shorthand for "to" or "too." Lastly, users extensively employ acronyms and initializations. Some common examples are "LOL," which stands for "laughing out loud" or "BBL" for "be back later."

Most recently, the spread of smartphones as the preferred mean of technology-mediated communication has introduced a new feature of texting language, i.e. the extensive use of emoticons instead of words. Users often rely on emoticons to express feelings, or they can use them as pictograms to represent words.

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