A newly developing dialect whereby the speaker can convey a lengthy or complicated thought by abbreviating phonetically or through the use of substitutive letters, numerals and characters. Most of the time this dialect is only used in a situation where there is limited space (such as in an anline video game, where you can only write one line at a time) or when using a cell phone to send messages because the alphanumeric entry process makes writing complete words/sentences impractical. Text speak also includes the use of short-word slang as well. These words are almost always either just a few letters long or occasionally can be longer if a modifying prefix is used to make a whole new word.
Oddly enough, this new dialect has only a written form, as any attempt to speak it out loud is both impractical and unusually difficult, despite the fact that all the specifics are words and phrases used in everyday speech.
The most difficult thing about learning textspeak is developing a sense of nuance. Since it is impossible to use body language, voice inflection, pitch or tone nor can you make eye contact, other compensatory measures have been taken to fill in these communicative gaps. Typing in all capitals is considered shouting and using quotes is giving emphasis to a particular word. Going through the effort to actually type an entire perfect sentence usually indicates that the writer considers the thought to be an important one and most people do pay better attention to these.
The basic rules of this dialect are simple, though. It is acceptable to misspell a word, so long as the phoentics are present, such as "tho" instead of "though". It is also acceptable to use a single character to represent several others, such as "U" instead of "You" or "4" in place of "For". Also, words can just be invented and passed around which consist of a series of unpronouncable letters and numbers that still have a written meaning, if not a verbal possibility. P10x = "Please help me" and Pwn = To completely dominate in some fashion
Some of these last can simply never be traced to origin, as they may be the result of a typo or subjective evolution from their original reference. Whole words are actually frowned upon in textspeak, unless used to define context. Typing "Why four?" or "What for?" is preferable to typing just a numeral 4 and a question mark in certain circumstances, because the latter may cause confusion, and one of the former will have to be typed anyway as well as the addition of a texted apology/embarrased laugh. The other exception is in the case where there is no established textspeak version of the word.
Soz, Srry, Sry can all be used to say "I'm Sorry." But there is no textspeak word for "Apologize" Using a longer word can also be used to reflect the importance of what one is trying to say.
Still other characters are used to express more complex thoughts via the literal interpretation of their appearance. <3 is actually representing heart, end thereby a great degree of affection. Most of these are often referred to as emoticons, but that word is coming to more and more refer specifically to small digitally created faces (also called "smiley's) depicting human emotions. The faces can be useful to someone who is new at textspeak, as they can be used to convey the emotion or emphasis of the writing.
"Heya, Bro. WUU2" - "What you up to"
The first party is asking a good friend what they are doing.
"LOLZ, Nothin ATM U?" A more personalized version of Laughing Out Loud followed by "Nothing At The Moment. What are you doing?"
"Bored skillin FTW =P" I am engaged in a particularly tedious task in a video game whereby I hope to develop a particular skill and become more proficient. The FTW means For The Win, in this case, the sarcastic version is being used. In text speak, the "equals" sign followed by a letter "P" is a visual cue translated as sticking out one's tongue.
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