Texting Protocol

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Over half the population of our planet* own a mobile phone. And aren't they wonderful creations? You can contact your dear old mom from anywhere... not including lifts, the London Underground, the pointy bits of Wales and my old common room (unless you hung out of the window). You can text your friends from as far as the other side of the room, update social networking sites ("Suzy is on the toilet. lol" etc.), enter competitions, and when at my favourite rock club one can make a vain attempt at getting the DJ to play Love Shack. Then of course there's other things you can do with you phone: play games (I will never play a game that isn't Snake... oh Nokia, you genius), take photos of amusing placenames and phalic vegetables, bluetooth things back and forth endlessly and let's not get onto the possible uses of a vibrate function.

Didn't you used to love your Nokia 3210?

However, mine (and I assume most people's) favourite function has to be the wonder of the text (aka "txt", "sms" and "msg"). Such a useful little thing, whether to organise a night out, find someone in a crowd or just to have a random conversation about cheese**. However there are a few things that need to be thought through concerning texting, like how people who spell "is" with a "z' should be shot and whether or not "tb" is appropriate.

A Rundown of Texting Protocols
  1. Spelling and Grammar. I'm a bit of a Grammar Nazi (that's Grammar Nazi, not the "ACH! Ich hasse alle!" kind) and so most of my text messages use properly spelt words and sentences. Some things I can cope with... "b" instead of "be", "u" instead of "you" and the like. But when you start using "wit" or "wid" instead of "with" and "iz" instead of "is" (IT'S THE GODDAMN SAME AMOUNT OF LETTERS!!) then that's when I begin to sharpen my knives. On the topic of punctuation I think it's subjective. So long as the message makes sense and it doesn't look like you forgot to go every English lesson you were ever scheduled to attend then use however much punctuation you feel is necessary.
  2. Emoticons. :) Aren't they cute? Quite a genius invention, I believe. Think about that cliche "It's not what he said, it's how he said it!". 80% of communication is body language and as soon as that communication is in a written format then you lose all of that. Little smileys or sadfaces*** or even my favourite, the peeface (":P") do quite a lot for the meaning of your text.
      eg. "I love you too. :P" Cheeky. Depending on the recipient could be jokey or cute and loving.
      "I love you too. :)" A genuine "I love you"
      "I love you too. ¬¬" Sarcasm.
      "ILYT" I don't love you, I'm only with you cause you've got bags of cash and/or a terrific pair of norks and "ily" is a noncommittal and empty response.
  3. Abbreviations. These I can cope with. Mainly because I spend so much time online that I'm now "one of those people"... the ones who say "lol" outloud. "Btw" (by the way), "atm" (at the moment), "tb(q)h" (to be (quite) honest) and "ffs" (for fuck's sake) are also acceptable because it shows that you have a grasp of the English language and it's many colloquial sayings but you wish to keep the length of you message to a minimum.
  4. Kisses. Oh the long discussions I've had with friends over the meaning of the "x" at the end of a text. To be quite honest I don't think there's any standardised rule for this. Sometimes I put a little "xx" at the end of a text but when I don't it's usually because I forgot/could not be bothered, not necessarily because I'm annoyed and/or hate you. And when flirting textually? Maybe there's more to it then but it really depends on the person. I new someone who put four "kisses" at the end of every text he sent, no matter who too. He also put the "xxxx" on his facebook status' and was a complete twassack but I think my point still stands. STOP FRETTING! It's just the letter "x"!
  5. And finally a few "don'ts"...
    1. "tb" Just no, if I want to text you back then I shall and if I don't, I won't. Two little annoying letters will not change my mind. That is, frankly, a waste of characters.
    2. "k" The singular letter "k" as the finally text in a conversation is not acceptable. You should be slapped in the face for this. It's simply a waste of a text. Whatever has been agreed on was clearly decided earlier in the conversation so there is no need to okay it for a second time.
    3. "brb" Rare, but still fucking annoying. This isn't instant messaging, this isn't a conversation in real time. Sometimes I get a text late at night and don't text back until the following morning... I don't send a text saying "brb going to sleep". Simples.
    4. "l8a" Please God, no. I really don't need numbers in the middle of already misspelt words. It just hurts me inside.
    5. Don't text drunk. Even though it is absolutely hilarious. It's bad for your health, my dears.
So there you go. Some basic rules of texting etiquette to keep you safe from the world of "le txt".
*which is certainly doomed in 2012 by the way
**my favourite cheese is Bavarian Smoked... message me for my postal address and you're welcome to send me as much cheese as I want


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