Tech Talk
April 28, 2006
R U a texter?

For the non-texters among us, the caption of my article is translated: “Are you a texter?” “RU” is a term that is part of a new language spawned by Instant Messaging (IM) using computers and short message service (SMS) (texting) using mobile phones.

Being a bit old-fashioned and a relative novice in the world of texting, I still use full sentences most of the time when IM’ing or texting. However, full fledged texters use a very interesting lingo to which new terms are added on a daily basis.{{more}}

These terms which make up the lingo are really shorthand forms of common English phrases usually pronounced by saying the letters one by one, not as a word. For example, BRB is pronounced “B-R-B”.

LOL – laugh out loud
AAK – Asleep at keyboard
AFAIK – As far as I know
BB4N – Bye, bye for now
BRB – be right back
BTW – By the way
CID – consider it done
DKDC – don’t know don’t care
DQYDJ – Don’t quit your day job
GMTA – great minds think alike
GTG – got to go
IMHO – In my humble opinion
JM2p – just my two pence worth
LMIRL – let’s meet in real life
NIFOC – nude in front of computer
2MORO – tomorrow
PIR – parent in room
POS – parent over shoulder
ROFL – rolling on the floor laughing
TTYL – talk to you later
YYSSW – yeah, yeah, sure, sure, whatever
2NITE – tonight
411 – information
ZZZ – sleeping, bored, tired

These are just a few of the hundreds of terms that have come into use. The language is a bit cheeky, and I am of the opinion that some of the oral responses we get from our youngsters which are considered “out of place” are a spill over from their texting language.

With Instant Messaging, you use messaging software installed on your computer to have realtime text (and these days, also voice and video) interactive sessions via the Internet with someone else.

Texting, or SMS is a service available on most digital mobile phones that permits the sending of short messages (also known as text messages, or SMSes, texts or even txts) between mobile phones or other handheld devices.

I’ve found myself texting more and more these days, as there are certain situations in which trying to communicate in any other way would be impractical.

We have all observed someone trying in vain to have a conversation on their mobile phone at a very noisy venue. A text message would be more appropriate here. There are also times when you need to communicate with someone who is in a quiet setting where it would be inappropriate for them to speak on a phone.

Other than those very practical applications of texting, I have found the SMS capabilities of my mobile phone to be most useful when I just want to say “I am thinking of you” or when I want to be mischievous. Sometimes I am in a very serious meeting and want to make a private comment to a colleague. Passing a note or whispering would be inelegant or unmannerly, but I can send text without anyone else noticing. As an aside, this is one of the reasons why mobile phones should never be allowed in schools or examination rooms.

IM’ing is a great way to keep friendships strong. I smile when I am alerted that a good friend has signed on to IM on their computer. It is almost as good as bumping into them in Kingstown.

IM not only promotes communication among friends, but has grown in popularity in business environments since it is an instant form of communication that is less intrusive than a telephone call. Instant messaging in the workplace needs to be strictly regulated though, as the privilege is easily abused.

This is JM2p, and CID. So before you ZZZ, I GTG, BB4N.