How to Abbreviate Words in Text Messages

By Techwalla Contributor

Text messaging is all the rage these days. Text messages, or texting, as it is affectionately called, friends and family on cell phones has become an important tool in the high-tech communications kit-bag. To watch an experienced text message expert is nothing short of amazing.

Step 1

Abbreviate your message. Many cell phone systems limit the number of characters in each text message, so it is vitally important to get as much said in as few characters as possible. Some providers also charge per character; another reason to abbreviate your message.

Step 2

Understand that there aren't any rules. With a text message, as with online chat rooms and similar forums, pretty much anything goes, as long as it is even remotely understandable.

Step 3

Learn the standardized message words. Many words used in text messages or chat rooms have been more or less standardized, in that most people use the same abbreviations for certain words or phrases. Some examples: -- "I don't know" becomes "idk"-- "oh, my gosh (or God)" becomes "omg"-- "laugh out loud" becomes "lol"-- "ty is "thank you," and "yw" is "you're welcome"-- "rofl" lets everyone know you are "rolling on the floor laughing"... and so it goes, attempting always to shorten and condense as much as possible so the text message is filled with meaning, and not extra letters or words.

Step 4

Use text-speak just as ordinary language since your intent is the same: To convey or acknowledge a message or thought or other communication between parties. Make sure your message gets adequately conveyed, despite abbreviating the words.

Step 5

Train your brain to recognize text-speak. For example, read these commonly-known and very important phrases:"i plj alejns 2 th flg, of th untd sts of amrca. n 2 th rpblc 4 whch it stnds; 1 ntn, ndr gd, ndvsbl, wth lbrty n jstc 4 all!" "4 scr n 7 yrs ago, r 4 fthrs brot 4th 2 ths cntnnt a nu ntn; cncvd n lbrty n ddctd 2 th prpstn tht all mn r crtd eql ..."

Step 6

Heed some simple advice:-- Leave as many letters out of words as possible.-- Leave out some words, if feasible.-- Vowels are easiest to omit; some consonants do not need to be included either.-- Stick with the commonly used abbreviations so others understand more readily.-- Think txt-spk, not text-speak.-- Trythskndoftxtmssgng2. Leave out spaces as well, which lets you cram even more into each text message. Not quite as easy to understand, thus trickier to compose. You have to be sure the message comes through without a lot of wasted time by the reader.

Tips & Warnings

  • Watch out for numb-thumb, from too much text messaging!
  • Watch for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms.