Idk y ur calling… jst txt me, k?


Gen Y and the Txting Xperience

The digital age spells a new era of communication. Text messaging, mobile phones, and chat forums have spawned a new language, comprising alphanumeric words, acronyms, abbreviations, and those addictive emoticons.  🙂

How is it impacting Generation Y? Is it ruining their grammar and communication skills? Is it making it difficult for other generations to communicate with them?

Believe it or not, young people are writing more than previous generations, albeit in 160 characters on a mobile device. Connecting words and symbols together to recreate something you may say out loud does not come easy—unless you are a member of Generation Y (or Z).  Today, knowing how to communicate with different generations is an important key to success. Knowing how to translate what others are saying is equally important—especially when it comes to Gen Y.

In 2003, a story was widely circulated that a Gen Y teenager had written an essay entirely in textspeak—a term for the abbreviations and slang most commonly used in mobile phone text messaging. True or not, here is how it read:

‘My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :-@ kids FTF. ILNY, it’s a gr8 plc.’

Can you translate it? If your answer is yes, this blog post may not be for you. If you find yourself scratching your head and uttering “Huh?” read on!

Learning to communicate through text message is like learning any new language or shorthand. You start with some basics and build your vocabulary gradually. Here are some of the basics that will help you better understand, communicate and connect with Gen Y while engaging in the unique and often misunderstood language.

  1. Abbreviation- We all know that an abbreviation is any shortened form of a word or phrase. In textspeak, words are typically abbreviated by eliminating vowels. Even the words “text” and “message” are often shortened in this way, as “txt” and “msg”.
Original WordAbbreviationOriginal WordAbbreviation
DownDwnTired or BoredZZZ
  1. Acronyming- Acronyming is replacing a phrase with a word based upon the first letters of its individual words. Creating acronyms is a very popular texting method—one of my favorites. J
       Original PhraseAcronym      Original Phrase Acronym
Talk to you in a fewTTUIAFParent over shoulder JPOS
Laughing out loudLOLRolling on the floor laughingROTFL
I don’t knowIDKOh, I seeOIC
By the wayBTWI Know how you feelIKHUF
Be back soonBBSHave a nice dayHAND
  1. Rebus- A rebus is the use of single letters, numerals, and symbols to represent words, or parts of words. A few common text message rebuses are 4 (for), 2 (to/too), b (be), and c (see).
    Original Word/PhraseRebus      Original Word/Phrase Rebus
Time to goT2GoSurprised:-<>
GreatGr8Think positiveT+

The text message craze is not going anywhere. Texting abbreviations are rapidly becoming a part of daily communication for work, home, school and other social interactions. Generation Y is a generation that communicates through text messaging as much as possible. Y? It is efficient. They can get back to you immediately with a few short words, or get back 2 you later when it’s convenient for them.

Inspired 2 learn more about the language? Visit

BTW here is the translation for the msg at the beginning of this blog:

‘My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York. It’s a great place.’

 What are your thoughts on this subject? We would love to hear from u!