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UNB 2010

The Use of Abbreviations in Text Messages 

I want to do this! What’s This?


The trend of thumb-typing text messages onto a tiny cell phone screen has given rise to a whole new system of abbreviations and altered grammar. Parents, teachers, and adults in general, do not approve it. Teachers complain that students are using abbreviations in schoolwork, too. However, reality is there and many adults have come across these abbreviations without having a clue as to their meaning. To many people, the SMS-speak is intuitively simple. For others, though, learning and using the system can take some time. The following steps will help you to use and 7 understand text message abbreviations.


Step 1: Substitute single letters for words. The simplest abbreviations are the very obvious substitutions of letters for words that have the same sound as the letter’s name. You can substitute “b” for the word “be”, “c” for 10 “see”, “n” for “in” and “y” for “why.” There are many other possible substitutions, so use your imagination to start abbreviating SMS messages.


Step 2: Use numbers instead of words or letters. Text message senders found that numbers such as 8, 4 and 13 2 are excellent abbreviations for words and syllables. You can use the number 4 instead of “for” and the number 2 in place of “to” or “too.” The number 8 can stand in for “ate” or as parts of words, as in “18” to mean “late.”


Step 3: Try some digital speak. A few basic abbreviations are used universally for electronic 16 communications. “Lol” is a common abbreviation that stands for “laughing out loud.” “Brb,” or “be right back,” is another frequently used abbreviation. Check out some other general abbreviations that are used by the speakers of digital and Internet languages.


Step 4: Look up or translate what you don’t know. Fortunately, there are a number of online resources to help you fill in the blanks of what you don’t know. The SMS glossary at Environmental Studies is a good place to look up text message terms.

Internet: (adapted)


The abbreviations which better express the phrase “I owe you one” in a text message, based on steps 1 and 2 in the text are:

Escolha uma das alternativas.