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Report on Texting & IM Slang: What Do U Use?

Smart girls decide for themselves™.

Text Mania!
As cell phones become more and more prevalent and we spend lots of time online chatting with friends, we've come to like quick communication. We want to be able to say what we mean, and fast. So why spend all that time typing out full words when we can abbreviate them and make our messages shorter and faster? This survey asked you about the slang you use when you're texting and IMing - classic slang like "LOL" and "BRB," newer slang you've picked up other places and even slang you use with your friends. We wanted to know what you think of this new trend. Read on to find out what you gals had to say!
Get 2 Know Our Texters
Who took this survey? Let's take a look:

- 277 girls, 6 boys and 9 people who didn't fill in a sex, giving us a grand total 292 respondents
- Ages ranged from 8 to 22 but clustered in the middle around the 12 to 14 age group.
- You guys come from many different backgrounds: African (29 people), Asian (42), European (87), Latin American (19), Native American (7), Middle Eastern (7), Oceania/Pacific Island (5), and multiracial (34)
- And from many different countries! We had 31 countries represented in this survey, including but not limited to Australia, China, Taiwan, Cyprus, Belize, Kenya, Greece and India.

From such different respondents, do you think we got lots of similar answers? Onward we go to find out!
Do U Use It?
One of the first things we learned from this survey is that you guys use texting for many different reasons, but the most popular are to communicate with your friends both inside and outside of school, to communicate with your family members and to flirt with people you like! So how does slang figure in? Some people use slang in their messages and some people don't - at least that's what we assumed when we were writing this survey. The thing is, we didn't know quite how many of you use it, and we sure learned. You can read these two pie charts to find out, but let me tell's a lot!
How often do you use Internet/texting slang like "LOL" or "BRB" when you're instant messaging (IMing) online?
A majority of you use slang in your IMs at least sometimes.
How often do you use Internet/texting slang in your text messages?
Again, a majority of you use slang in your texts at least some of the time.
A Way with Words
If you're all using slang so much, there must be a reason. We asked, "If you do use slang, why do you like using it in your messages?" By far, you guys use slang because it cuts down on the amount of time it takes you to write a message, though many of you mentioned that using slang allows you to fit more info into each message. Smaller numbers of you use it because it's cool, because it's fun to figure out new ways to say things, and because it makes it harder for adults to figure out what you're saying!

List of Lingo
Then we asked you to write us lists of the slang you like to use. Many of you included the standards - LOL, BRB, G2G - but here are a few of the ones we hadn't heard much before:

- wamhas = with all my heart and soul
- hby = How bout you?
- ikr = I know, right?
- ICCL = I couldn't care less
- ThtsSoLm = That's so lame
- WDALYIC: Who died and left you in charge?!
- ateotd- at the end of the day
- ntuko - not that you know of
- puff = I think it's a terrible or silly idea
- ROE = Roll Of Eyes
- ROB = Raise Of Brows
- ROFLMBOOLSHTMSAS = Rolling on the floor laughing my butt off out loud so hard that my side are splitting
- PGM = parents getting mad
- LQTM = laughing quietly to myself
- QLAD = quack like a duck (replacement for "lol")

Learning the Language
As you can see, a lot of lingo gets thrown around. How are we all supposed to know what it means? You guys gave us some suggestions of great websites we could check out to learn new slang. Here are two that we found helpful!


You guys also suggested going to Google and typing in any slang that you can't decipher. That's a good idea too!
Slang in School
When you use slang so often, does it start to show up in other areas of your life? We weren't sure, so we thought we'd investigate a little more. Let's shift our focus to school:
How often do you use Internet/texting slang on your school assignments?
It looks like the majority of you don't use slang on school assignments ever.
It's a good thing many of you don't try to use slang on your assignments because if you take a look at the next graph, you'll see that, for a lot you, your schools won't let you get away with it!
How lenient is your school about the use of Internet/texting slang on school assignments?
This one is a little more spread out, but it appears that the majority of your schools are at least not very lenient about the use of slang on assignments.
Even if you can't use slang in your assignments, can you at least practice your speedy messaging while you're at school? We asked, "What is your school's policy on having cell phones and other communication devices in school?" We learned that for the largest number of you, you can bring them into school with you but you can't use them at all. However, there were quite a few of you who said you can not only bring them into school with you but you can also use them between classes and a lunch! A smaller number said you can't bring them into your school building at all, and the smallest number said you can use them all the time at school.

Everyone Loves an Emoticon!
Alright, so let's switch gears again and talk about sending smileys. What emoticons do you usually use? Here's a list of some we put together from your responses:

;;) = Flirting
(:| = Tired
:"> = Looking at Someone You Like
:-* = Kissing
=(( = Heart Broken
:ar! = Pirate
:>- = Raising Eyebrows
b-) = Cool person
:-s = Confused
>:) = Devil
[-( = Refusing
:-$ = Whispering
<):) = Cowboy
:-b = Geek
XD = Laughing
O_O = Surprised
T_T = A "please shut up" face
^_^ = A thanks face
~_^ = Wink to the left
^_~ = Wink to the right
;X- = Can't really describe it, but if you're like, talking about a guy it's kind of like I knooooooooooow! *spazz*)
|m| = Rock and Roll!

If that list isn't enough, check out these two sites for more emoticons you can add to your conversations:


Parents Peeking?
Earlier in the survey, you may have noticed that some of you indicated you like using slang in your messages because it makes it harder for your parents to decipher them. And that leads right into this series of questions about your parents and how involved they are in your messaging:
How closely do your parents monitor your IM conversations?
Though the largest number of you said your parents don't monitor your IMs, it looks like a fair number of you do have them peeking over your shoulder.
How closely do your parents monitor your text messages?
Put together, it looks like the majority of your parents don't monitor your texts very closely or at all.
Parents monitor conversations for different reasons, but one of the biggest might be because they're afraid you're chatting it up with someone they might not want you to talk to! What do you guys think? We asked, "How many people do you IM with online that you think your parents would not want you to talk with if they knew?" The majority of you said that you don't think you IM with anyone your parents wouldn't want you to, which is great. A few of you said you IM with one or two people your parents might not like, while even fewer said you IM with more than two people your parents wouldn't be fond of.

Is it different for texts? We asked the same question, only about text messaging. Almost all of you told us you think your parents would be okay with everyone you text. Very few of you indicated your parents might have an issue with some of the people you send messages to.

But just because your parents don't mind that you talk with certain people online doesn't mean they'll always approve of what you're talking about! In our list of slang that you helped create, a few of you mentioned secret slang or emoticons you use to signal a parent's presence. Do all of you have this?
Do you have a secret code with friends that signifies when a parent is in the room and might see the conversation?
More of you don't have a secret code that lets your friends know a 'rent is round than do.
Translate the Text
Finally, to give you gals the opportunity to show your slang skills, we asked you to translate a conversation between two friends into texting/IM slang to make it as short as possible. Here was the initial conversation:

Nat: What are you up to?

Anita: Not much. You?

Nat: Going to see a movie at eight. Want to come?

Anita: Okay, thanks! With who?

Nat: My best friend. Meet us at 7:45? Just so you know, we bought tickets.

Anita: Great! I've got to go. I'll see you as soon as possible.

Nat: See you later

Many of you showed us how you would shorten that conversation up, and - not surprisingly - you guys were able to make it shorter than we could! Here is the shortest way you guys could text this conversation (keeping all the same info as in the original convo!):

Nat: wuu2?

Anita: nm, u?

Nat: gng 2 c mvie @ 8. want 2 go?

Anita: k, thx! w/ hu?

Nat: my bff. meet @ 7.45? jsuk, we got tix

Anita: g8! gtg. c u asap

Nat: c u l8r

That's pretty crazy! You guys took a conversation with 194 letters and shortened it to 93!! I'm impressed. :)

Thanks for talking about slang with us!!

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!

Please remember that all web-based polls are not scientific because the pollsters cannot randomly select the respondents to participate in the surveys.

All our surveys are anonymous; check out our privacy policy. All data copyright 1996-2007.


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