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Text Talk: the World of Texting Abbreviations, 2014

a Dictionary of Text Talk and Instant Message Jargon

By

April, 2014

2014 is all about mobile web and short 'bite-sized' communications. Our desktop messaging has migrated to our smartphones and tablets, and spelling and grammar have been slashed in favor of thumb-typing speed and ease. All the while, we still need to pack meaningful information, courtesy and etiquette into our messaging.

Hundreds of bizarre texting jargon expressions have spawned as a result. Primarily about shorthand (and the removal of capitalization and punctuation), the new jargon saves us keystrokes to say ty (thank you) and yw (you're welcome). The new jargon also conveys spontaneous emotion and personal expressions ('O RLY', 'FML', 'omg').

Capitalization and punctuation are optional. (Yes, your English teachers cringe at this new and loose world of messaging). In text messaging, lowercase is the norm for speed. For desktop email and IM, UPPERCASE is acceptable for emphasizing one or two words a time. BUT PLEASE AVOID TYPING ENTIRE SENTENCES IN UPPERCASE AS THAT IS CONSIDERED RUDE SHOUTING.

Here is a list of the most common text message and chat expressions, 2014.

1. wbu

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WBU - What About You?

This expression is used in personal conversations where the two parties are well acquainted.  This expression is commonly used to ask for the other person's opinion, or to check for their comfort level with the situation.

2. idc

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IDC - I Don't Care

IDC is about indifference or indecisiveness. You would use IDC when you are trying to make a decision with your messaging friend, and you are open to multiple options. While IDC is largely an emotion-less term, it can sometimes convey a negative attitude, so it is best to use this expression with friends and not new acquaintances.

e.g. User 1: we can meet at the mall first, then head to the movie in one car, or we all meet in front of the movie ticket box. Wut would you like?

e.g. User 2: IDC, you pick.

3. w/e (wuteva)

w/e (wuteva)
Creative / Getty Images

W/E - Whatever

Also: wuteva - Whatever

W/E is a dismissive term, often used as a rude way to diminish someone's comment.  It is a way of saying 'I'm not interested in arguing this point any more', or 'I disagree, but I don't care enough to make an issue of it.'

4. props

photo by Iconica / Getty Images

PROPS - Proper Respect and Acknowledgement

"Props" is a jargon way to say "Proper Recognition" or "Proper Respect Due". Props is commonly used with the prepositional phrase "to (someone)". As a stylish way to acknowledge someone's skill or achievement, props has become quite common in modern text and email conversations. 

Example of props usage:
 

  • (User 1) Props to Suresh! That presentation he gave was really darn good.
  • (User 2) Aye, big props to Suresh, for sure. He blew away all the other presenters at the conference. He put lots of work into that, and it really showed this weekend.

5. hmu

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HMU - Hit Me Up

This acronym is used to say "contact me", "text me", "phone me" or otherwise "reach me to follow up on this". It is a modern shorthand way to invite a person to communicate with you further.

Example of hmu

  • User 1: I could use advice on buying an iPhone vs an Android phone.
  • User 2: Hmm, I read a great article on comparing those two exact phones. I have the link somewhere.
  • User 1: Perfect, HMU! Send that link when you can!

6. np

Photographers Choice / Getty Images

NP - No Problem

NP is a jargon way to say "you're welcome", or to say "not to worry about that, everything is fine". You can use NP right after someone thanks you in instant messaging. You can also use NP when someone turns down your request or invitation, and you want to tell them that there are no hard feelings.

Example of NP

  • (first user) We could really use a designated driver tonight.  Are you available? We'll pay for dinner and soft drinks.
  • (second user) Sry, I really need to get some sleep.
  • (first user)  Sure, np, we'll get Jeff or Salma to drive.  Have a good Friday!

7. nvm

nvm = never mind
Creative / Getty Images

NVM - Never Mind

Also: NM - Never Mind

This acronym is used to say "please disregard my last question/comment", commonly because the user found the answer seconds after posting the original question. 


Example of NVM usage:

 

  • (User 1): Hey, how do I change my phone to show your photo when you call?
  • (User 2): Did you look in the contact list settings?
  • (User 1): nvm, I found it! It was on the last screen!

8. idk

Tripod / Getty Images

IDK - I Don't Know

IDK is a pretty straightforward expression:  you use IDK when you cannot offer an answer to someone's question. Like most of these messaging jargon terms, you would only use IDK for personal conversations or when there is a trusted work relationship established in advance.

9. tyvm

tyvm - thank you very much
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TYVM - Thank  You Very Much

Also: TY - Thank You

Also: THX - Thanks

This expression speaks for itself:  it is a form of politeness in English.

10. wtf

Stone / Getty Images

WTF - What the F*ck?

This is a blunt expression of shock and concerned confusion.  Somewhat like 'OMG', 'WTF' is used when an alarming event just occurred, or some unexpected and disturbing news was just conveyed.

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