The new SMS (text) language looks like modern hieroglyphics but it is easy to understand. For those who still don’t get the SMS-language , here is a few tips.
Texting in today’s world has become one of the most popular ways of communication as SMS, Twitter and Mxit are becoming more popular. With the maximum number of characters in a message being 140-160, people have learned ways of shortening words so that they can say more in one message.
Taking Out the Vowels
A simple method of shortening words is to take out all the vowels (the letters A, E, I, O and U). Although this works for some words, it is not the most effective method. For example, sending the word ‘THS’ could be interpreted as ‘THIS’ or ‘THESE’. For this reason, taking out all the vowels is not a commonly used method. However, people who are not familiar with text messaging usually think this is how people shorten words. This is due to such words as ‘TEXT’ being shortened to ‘TXT’.
Taking Out Apostrophes and Dashes
For some words, this is a very simple way of removing an un-needed character from a word. The word ‘E-MAIL’ does not need a dash in it for people to understand what it means. Just putting ‘EMAIL’ is enough for people to understand the word. Words like ‘I’M’ can be shortened to ‘IM’, and words like ‘DON’T’ can be shortened to ‘DONT’. For the word ‘DON’T’, people often remove the vowel as well to make ‘DNT’. In this case, you have removed two un-needed characters from the word.
Replacing Words With Symbols and Numbers
When text messaging, you do not want to write out words which can be replaced with symbols or numbers. For example, instead of writing the word ‘FOR’ you would write ‘4’. Also, whenever the letters ‘FOR’ appear as part of another word like in the word ‘FORGIVE’, you would substitute the number for the word and write ‘4GIVE’. In this case, you may even remove the ‘E’ from the end of the word and just write ‘4GIV’. This removing of the ‘E’ is a process which will be explained in more detail later in this entry.
Below are some common cases where words are replaced with symbols and numbers:
Removing The End ‘E’ and Changing ‘O’ to ‘U’
Another method of shortening words is to remove the ‘E’ from the end of the word. Using this method the word ‘GIVE’ would be written as ‘GIV’. You can also remove the ‘E’ from words like ‘SOME’ and ‘LOVE’. However, to make the words sound right, you change the ‘O’ to a ‘U’ to make ‘SUM’ and ‘LUV’.
Replacing ‘I’ with ‘Y’
For many words, it is possible to replace an ‘I’ with a ‘Y’. and remove some characters from the word. With the word ‘TIME’, you would replace the ‘I’ with a ‘Y’ and remove the ‘E’ to make ‘TYM’. With the word ‘RIGHT’, you would replace the ‘I’ with a ‘Y’ and remove the ‘G’ and ‘H’ to make ‘RYT’.
When shortening words, remember that you are trying to communicate a message. A good method of doing this is by using sounds to represent words. For example, instead of writing ‘YOU’, you would replace it with a letter which creates the same sound, ‘U’. For the word ‘WHY’, you would replace it with ‘Y’. For a word like ‘ANY’, you would replace it with ‘NE’. By making words from sounds, words are usually shorter.
There is sites with comprehensive SMS dictionaries which you can be use to look-up abbreviations but it is easier to master the basic “rules” and start communicating in the SMS-language