I don’t understand a lot of textspeak. Sad, but true. Since muddling my way through it isn’t a great option—I surely misunderstand something along the way—I decided to do something about it. I looked up a list of textspeak on Wikipedia… which turned out to be huge. Some to most of the shortcuts on the list were just plain unnecessary. However, I dug around & later in the post you’ll get to read a few of my faves.
Now, nothing irritates me more than a text conversation in which grammatical laws are beautifully adhered to in the blue or green box while commonsense English is ripped to shreds by the text in the gray box.
Not that I don’t love a good shortcut once in a while. But I have tricks to satisfy my impatience & my inner grammar Nazi. The best one is to manually create a shortcut for your shortcuts. This is (for iPhone)in Settings>General>Keyboard>Shortcuts – I feel like I’m winding down a secret passageway every time I go there. 🙂 Adding one, you’re prompted with the phrase you want & the text that will automatically expand into that phrase as you type. Now here’s the fun part. Add every single shortcut you use on a daily basis, such as “thx” (ugh) or “ttys” (okay, that’s not so bad) & every time you type “thx” it’ll turn into “thanks” (or whatever you want) automatically. I use this so often. My “cuz” to “because” shortcut is a heaven-sent miracle because it’s so easy to use & yet doesn’t make me cringe.
Then you can get creative. For instance, I can secretly add a shortcut to a friend’s phone so whenever she types in my name, it’ll turn into “that darling pook” instead. I’ve seen it done
before. In these days of texting without double checking the message, such a hack results in great hilarity. One I particularly like the sound of is making “yes” expand to “broccoli”. (Broccoli just happens to be a very good joke among us fortunate enough to know it.)
Now, for the fun part of the post: I humbly present you with a list of handpicked bits of textspeak. It includes textspeak you can use, textspeak that drives me crazy, textspeak you cannot use, & the more absurd textspeak that merits a double or triple take.
All this is completely imao, but enjoy!
Textspeak you can make allowances for
Firstly, an example of a textspeak phrase:
txtspk exmpl – textspeak example meaning. My example comments here.
Even in this list, I feel that one should create shortcuts for most of this textspeak. This is textspeak I can actually bear to type at all, but I’m certainly going to create shortcuts so I don’t actually have to look at the textspeak. & I’m not including the ones like aka & bff, which are so common they’re almost totally new words, not textspeak.
404 – I don’t know (adopted from the HTTP status code “404 Not Found”). Now this is just plain funny.
a3 – anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Kinda cute way to put it, & this is a super-shortcut, exchanging 27 characters (including spaces) for just 2.
btdt – been there, done that. 🙂
btw – by the way. I admit, I do use this one, so I’m going to create a shortcut for it today.
bcoz or bc or cos or coz or cuz or cz – because. As I said, my “cuz” to “because” shortcut is an excellent investment.
idawtc – I don’t agree with that comment. I wish everyone would say it this nicely. For that reason, I’m okay with this one.
imao – in my arrogant opinion. Got a soft spot for this one just because of its meaning.
kwim – know what I mean? If you’re the kind of person that asks this a lot—& some people do—then this is a valuable shortcut to create.
msg – message. Get to know this one real well because people use it everywhere. I’m not a big fan myself, but I guess it’s worth a shortcut.
mtfbwu – may the force be with you. I think this is just so cute, mixing good old Star Wars with textspeak. If people understood it, I’d just leave it within its textspeak context & not create a shortcut for it at all.
gmta – great minds think alike. Just because I like this phrase, I’m putting it in here.
oo – over & out. Cute.
pmfi – pardon me for interrupting. If one is texting, one rarely uses pleasantries, but at least this shortcut has some integrity.
ppl – people. This is a very annoying one, but it is useful.
prob or prolly – probably. I use “prolly” a lot, so I have a shortcut to change it to “probably”.
ttyl or ttul – talk to you later
ur – your or you’re. Sigh. I know, this is cringe-worthy, but so many people use it that going to have to put down a shortcut for this one.
wrud – what are you doing? I think this one can actually have some potential. It’s a pretty common question & a good shortcut.
Textspeak that drives me crazy
Please note that this is textspeak only. It’s fine to write it in real English, but these are the textspeak phrases that make me go nuts. (Except for number 7; whether it’s spoken, textspoken, or written normally, it’s unforgivable.)
idk – I don’t know. This might just be the worst of the worst. Cringe.
ily or ilu – I love you. This hurts. I could think of a dozen different, better, & much cuter ways to say this. The first way would be to simply say “I love you”.
jk – just kidding. Just don’t use this, okay? Just—don’t.
lyk – like. Great. Make an awful & abused word even worse by textspeaking it. Yeuch.
omg – oh my god or oh my gosh. We’ve got an epidemic of omgs going around these days & it drives me nuts. Puh-lease take your omgs, likes, literallys, & plentiful titters elsewhere.
pls or plz – please. Super-annoying textspeak.
tgif – thank God it’s Friday. Whoever says this is probably not a very pleasant person to be around. As to the shortcut itself—well, an eyeroll shortcut for a trendy phrase.
thts – that is. This is probably one of the most criminal offences, right beside “your” instead of “you’re”. People are so lazy that they can’t add an A to make it “thats” so Spellcheck changes it to “that’s”? Likewise, no one bothers to add a simple E to “your” so Spellcheck will add the apostrophe for “you’re”?
tym – time. Oooh, a difference of one letter.
thx or ty – thanks or thank you. Can’t say why thx gets to me so badly, but I blench every time I read it.
Textspeak to avoid
The textspeak that might award both you & the receiver a wince. Less scarily, the textspeak that would just be better if you kept away from, for your own good.
da – the. So punk, in my opinion. Why do people put up with it?
hru – how are you? You can’t actually mean it if you ask in textspeak.
hags – have a good summer. You got it, “hags” sounds really well-intentioned!
kiss – keep it simple, stupid. If you’re going to, in textspeak, call him stupid, then don’t, in literal-speak, give him the wrong idea.
ooh – out of here. No one would understand this text shortcut because people say ooh so often these days.
poahf – put on a happy face. Not very familiar to most people, & to me, it looks somewhat like “poached or fried”.
pdq – pretty darn quick. Or a restaurant.
rofl or rotfl – rolling on floor laughing. Somehow I really doubt it. Besides, no one’s such a great multitasker that they can roll on the floor, laugh hysterically, & text someone to tell them so.
rodl – rolling on door laughing. Don’t fall off.
sit – stay in touch. S-i-t. Good. Now stay in touch.
tbh – to be honest. Upon seeing it, what I think it means: #throwbackhanukkah
tmwfi – take my word for it. Upon seeing it, what I think it means: Tomorrow is Friday.
toy – thinking of you. Toy toy toy! Not even the world’s savviest teenagers will be able to recognize this.
tstb – the sooner, the better. Upon seeing it, what I think it means: tablespoon.
ugtbk – you’ve got to be kidding. Upon seeing it, what I think it means: ugggtbbbbk!!!
uw – you’re welcome. Upon seeing it, what I think it means: EW.
wayf – where are you from? Honestly, if you’re asking that datable guy where he’s from, you’ll want to put a tad bit more effort into it.
wtg – way to go. But all it takes is one slight mistake on that G & you’re done for. Especially considering the probable context.
ybs – you’ll be sorry. Now, come on. If you’re going to threaten someone, do it properly.
Textspeak that merits a double take
Let’s end with the best list, shall we?
ga – go ahead. I’ll show you why you should not use this:
“So can I decorate the house for Julie’s birthday?”
nimby – not in my back yard. Jack be nimby, Jack be qik, Jack jump over the cndlstk.
rofl burger – burger made from rofl sauce. Someone’s obsessed with food.
rofl cakes – dessert from rofl burger.
roflcops – police helicopter in the Antarctica. Wait, what?
s icnr – sorry, I could not resist. It takes longer to think about the shortcut than it takes to write it in English.
s ig2r – sorry, I got to run. Same as above.
slap – sounds like a plan. See conversation below & don’t use this shortcut.
“So tmr @8?”
tlk2ul8r – talk to you later – this is getting down to some serious codes, people. It takes longer to write this “shortcut”, with numbers & all, than to write the literal phrase. I’m serious, because I tried it. Just use ttyl.
thnks fr th mmrs – thanks for the memories. So clearly un-thankful.
tnstaafl – there’s no such thing as a free lunch. This takes a really talented texter to break this code. Or a really knowledge-thirsty Wikipedia user.
wuciwug or wysiwyg – what you see is what you get. Upon seeing it, what I think it means: woosy-wug or wysy-wyg.
wombat – waste of money, brains & time. This is just plain hilarious. When I’m mad about something, I’m going to shout “Wombat!” to the world & it’ll be too ridiculous to keep from laughing.
There ya go. A not nearly complete compendium of textspeak. Ttys!