The Text/Twitter/Facebook Language Quiz

“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? This is an excerpt from a school essay handed in by a 13-year-old Scottish girl. Naturally, her teacher was mortified. I fancied that I would be able to translate the short piece of textese above, but I got stuck as soon as I reached ‘CWOT’. For those of you who tried and failed, here’s what the lil Scottish texter meant:

“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.”

So it’s been said that we’re the sms generation, known for our inability to live without some form of social media. But it’s also been said that all of this texting is doing nothing for our language skills. Perhaps you disagree, but I for one do not like the idea of reworking the English language to the point where it is unrecognizable. For instance, take this university student who reworked the Lord’s prayer into a textese ‘masterpiece’:

“dad@hvn, ur spshl. we want wot u want &urth2b like hvn. giv us food & 4giv r sins lyk we 4giv uvaz. don’t test us! save us! bcos we kno ur boss, ur tuf & ur cool 4 eva! ok?”

I can appreciate the fact that shorthand messaging is a time-saver, but these are new levels of textese that I can’t relate to – on any level – mostly because I can’t for the life of me understand what the texter is trying to say.

Now that I’ve shared my opinion on the subject, it’s quiz time! Who are you when it comes to texting – the stickler, the EZ (easy) txtr or da gr8st txtr afaik. Give yourself points for every word you can translate and see which category you fit into below.

  • da, de or d      (1 point)
  • k                      (1 point)
  • c                       (1 point)
  • wit                   (1 point)
  • r                       (1 point)
  • w/o                  (1 point)
  • cya                   (1 point)
  • m8                   (1 point)
  • thr4                 (2 points)
  • 1ce                   (2 points)
  • nd                     (1 point)
  • asl or a/s/l       (2 points)
  • afaik                  (3 points)
  • brb                    (1 point)
  • atm                   (1 point)
  • idk                     (2 points)
  • t2yl                    (3 points)
  • wtf                     (1 point)
  • imo                     (1 point)
  • imho                  (2 points)
  • i ❤ u                 (3 points)
  • lol                       (1/2 point)
  • lmao                   (1 point)
  • btw                     (1 point)
  • rofl                      (2 points)

0-10 points: Come forth oh stickler for good old-fashioned diction.

10-25 points: EZ textr, you’re my type of person – not too enthralled in the world of texting that you would hand in your CV saying ‘imho, im a gr8 ppls prsn’. Nevertheless, you are at ease with sending a quick sms or twitter update so that it’s still half legible.

26-36 and a half: You may be da gr8st txtr afaik, but damn – no one can understand what you’re writing unless it’s someone in the same texting league. Surely the point of language is to communicate?
2b or not 2b that’s the ? 🙂

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