English study series part 3: Texting English
OMG, the semester at CGU is almost over! WRUD? Have you finished all of your assignments? Is taking the final exams NBD? IMO, everyone needs to study hard. WDYM you ask? IDK, the final exams are only days away, so hang in there and HAG1!
This is texting English which began in the days of pocket pagers and expanded with mobile phones and the Internet. Texting is an abbreviated language and slang commonly used with email and instant messaging. Texting abbreviations according to several online sources, has a current vocabulary of more than 2,000 and is increasing. Texting is the boom in social-media sites like Twitter, where messages are limited to 140 characters. Text messages, too, are limited in length, so users have developed texting as shorthand abbreviations to save time, and their thumbs. Taking time to learn the texting jargon may seem like a WOMBAT (“Waste of money, brains and time”), but texting terms permeate throughout Western popular culture and a basic familiarity with texting terms is also beneficial to English language learners.
Since 2009, Merriam-Webster Dictionary and the AP Stylebook have officially recognized texting shorthand. Of the terms included, LOL (“Laugh out loud”) and OMG (“Oh my God”) are the most readily recognized. Other terms include IMO (“In my opinion”), ROFL (“Rolling on the floor laughing”) and BFF (“Best friends forever”).
According to Webopedia (https://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp), the current top 10 texting abbreviations based on the most requested chat definitions are as follows:
1. ROFL means Rolling on floor laughing.
2. STFU means Shut the *freak* up.
3. LMK means Let me know.
4. ILY means I love you.
5. YOLO means You only live once.
6. SMH means Shaking my head.
7. LMFAO means Laughing my freaking *a* off.
8. NVM means Never mind.
9. IKR means I know, right.
10. OFC means Of course.
Other popular texting terms include the following:
UG2BK (“You got to be kidding”)
GBTW (“Get back to work”)
NMP (“Not my problem”)
GFTD (“Gone for the day”)
FYEO (“For your eyes only”)
BI5 (“Back in five minutes”)
DEGT (“Don’t even go there”)
PCM (“Please call me”)
IMS (“I am sorry”)
TOY (“Thinking of you”)
KUTGW (“Keep up the good work”)
CID (“Consider it done”)
FWIW (“For what it’s worth”)
HAND (“Have a nice day”)
IAT (“I am tired”)
NRN (“No response necessary”)
4COL (“For crying out loud”)
WRUD (“What are you doing”)
^5 (“High five”)
For a more comprehensive list of terms, please search “texting” online. Language is “living” in that it is constantly changing and evolving. Texting is a good example of how language is evolving. It is good to be familiar with the changes.
This is the third entry in an English language learning series where English language study advice is presented to CGU students and staff. Let’s enjoy studying English together!