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Teen text lingo decoded

AT&T's Parent's Text Tutorial offers the following tips to text messaging. Since each message can only contain up to 160 characters, users have developed a short-hand system to allow them to say more in one message. One outcome of this practice is that punctuation is widely disregarded. Below, are more basic tips:

  • Take out vowels. For example, shorten 'Text' to 'TXT'
  • Replace words with symbols and numbers — For example, instead of writing the word 'FOR,' use the word '4.' So when the letters 'FOR' apppear as part of another word like 'FORGIVE,' it's usually texted as '4GIVE.' More examples include:
    People = PPL
    Please = PLZ

    Because = BCUZ

  • Text messaging is also highly phonetic. So instead of saying 'YOU,' you might just say, 'U.'
  • Combine all the methods above. An example of this would be the word 'ANYONE.' By using the method of sounds and the method of replacing words with symbols and numbers, the word 'ANYONE' becomes 'NE1.'