The sites txtDrop.com and Connexin.net offer succinct lists of popular abbreviations used in text messaging. Other sites, such as Lingo2Word.com, offer searchable databases of text messaging abbreviations.
At another website with a searchable database, Abbreviations.com, a user can enter either an abbreviation to find its meaning, or enter a phrase in English to see if there is an associated text message abbreviation.
Text message abbreviations are constantly being invented. Abbreviations.com offers users an opportunity to list messaging abbreviations they have seen or invented, and other users can rate them.
Text message abbreviations are often phonetic shortcuts, such as "u" for you. Some are pictorial in nature, for instance :) signifying a happy face. These are called emoticons. Some are puns or clever shortenings of expressions.
Text messaging is also called "SMS," which stands for Short Message Service. People often use abbreviations in text messaging in order to keep their messages short.