It wasn’t that long ago when texting someone was actually rather difficult. The most advanced cell phones available had the same ten-key keypads that touch-tone phones have had for years, which meant that using proper grammar while writing a text message was a challenge.
Character limits also meant that texts had to be short, which meant that they were written in a weird language that consisted heavily of abbreviations and acronyms. Oddly enough, people seemed to know exactly what all of this meant, or at least young people did. Older adults and those who may not have been very tech-savvy were often left in the dark about what every teenager seemed to be talking about.
These days, most people have smartphones with full QWERTY keyboards and no character limit when writing texts. One would imagine that this would spell the end of “textspeak,” but it didn’t. Teenagers and other tech-savvy young adults still use this language as shorthand as they text or even talk over instant messengers and Facebook, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Why You Should Care About Texting Acronyms
While texting acronyms aren’t exactly universal and in a sense are limited mostly to the current generation of teenagers, it’s still important to be at least a little bit familiar with the way some young people communicate.
While it is becoming useful for parents to learn these acronyms to communicate with their children, it is also important to learn them in the event you happen to be communicating with an individual who uses them quite often. With that being said, here are some of the texting acronyms that everyone should know.
Popular Texting Acronyms Defined
LOL: This of course means “laughing out loud.” This one has been around for years and predates texting. It was meant to point out when someone was literally laughing at something funny. Now, however, it’s typically used as punctuation whenever anything is remotely amusing.
OMG: This is shorthand for “oh my God.”
ZOMG: Also shorthand for “oh my God,” but used sarcastically.
BRB: “Be right back.” This is another one that was used in chat rooms and instant messenger programs. It isn’t as common with text messaging since people usually have their cell phones with them.
BTW: “By the way.”
BF/GF: These are used when referring to a boyfriend or girlfriend.
SML: This is a more recent acronym that can mean “Story of my life.”This recently began showing up, and many people often don’t know what it means when they see it.
IMHO: This can mean either “in my honest opinion” or “in my humble opinion.” It’s a great example of an acronym having more meaning than what it stands for.
ASL: This is another old acronym from back when chat rooms were more popular. It stands for “Age/Sex/Location” and it is used to determine how old everyone is, where they live and whether they’re male or female.
These are some of the more common texting acronyms that are used. They are used for shorthand communication, and, for the most part, they are as innocent as they sound.
About the author: Dixon Chandler is a freelance writer specializing in gadgets and social media; those with cell phones thinking about cell phone insurance should consider a well-known smartphone insurance provider.