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SMS Mobile Language

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Mobile devices have brought a new way of communicating, they have partly changed the way we speak and write. Now we need short words. New generations and new jobs use mobile devices, they have their own language or jargon; Text messaging has expanded. It is an advantage for teachers to understand mobile language, although it is even better to teach it at school. In non- English speaking countries for instance, Business English or English for the job would be the right subject to teach mobile language / sms language.

Why not teach it in “normal English” lessons as well? It could help to learn vocabulary, to build sentences, write messages and translate messages. You could practice dictation, pronunciation and spelling with students. My experience teaching text messaging in class has been positive so far. Here is a list of a few abbreviations used in mobile language / sms language; the best rule seems to be: “Shorten the words in a way that your communication partner understands”

  • Letters and numbers: B be, C see, R are, U you, Y why, 2 too or to, 4 for, & and, @ at, # number.
  • Short words: CHK check, m8 might, 2b to be, KNO know, d8 date, MSG message,4evr forever, w8 wait, PLZ or PLS please, B4 before, L8 late, db8 deviate,GR8 great!, SRY sorry, TMR or 2mro tomorrow, thanx or THX thanks, mtg meeting, ryt right, ppl people, lnch lunch, dlayd delayed, nx next, cancld canceled, fwd forward, txt text.
  • Phrases: CUL8R see you later, 4U for you, 2L8 too late, IDK I don’t know,TTYL talk to you later,  UR you are, Cld U could you, ILBL8 I’ll be late.
  • Smilies: :-) I’m smiling, :-D  I’m laughing, ;-)  I am grinning, :-0  I am shocked,:-I I don’t think it is funny, :`-( I am sad.

 Check also abbreviations and acronyms for a complete list, text message abbreviations to read the story of text messaging and get further links, or internet for beginners for a current overview of text messages.


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