Text Speak is the language commonly used in mobile phones. It is a way of shortening words by removing some vowels or replacing syllabes with numbers. Most people active in texting find it convenient to text in this format because it helps them save time and money. But some people find it complicated so they spell out the words instead.
Forms of Text Speak in the Philippines
Acronyms – first originated in chatrooms, then were later brought into texting. They are more popular in other countries than in the Philippines. They also have a guide list of textspeak acronyms here. Examples:
LOL – laughing out loud
BTW – by the way
Contractions - shortening a word by omitting a letter or a group of letters, especially vowels and double letters. This is easier to read because there’s no need to refer to translation aids unlike the Acronyms. The word can still be read by pronouncing the consonants without the vowels.
tmorow = tomorrow
pls = please
tnx = thanks
ppnta ako = pupunta ako (Tagalog example)
tmkbo = tumakbo (Tagalog example)
tmtkbo = tumatakbo (Tagalog example)
Phonetics – reading the letters as they are pronounced. Sometimes, numbers can be used too. A very common example would be:
C u l8r = see you later
Il b l8 = ill be late
d2 n kme = dito na kame (Tagalog example)
Special Characters using homoglyphs – substituting ordinary letters with special characters. Sometimes, combining a group of special characters are also used to project an image. This form of textspeak is usually observed in forwarded quotes. Example:
The ¡ (inverted exclamation) is used to replace the letter i
Luv ¡snt abt g¡v & tke, bt
rathr, g¡v & g¡v..
Using alphabets with accents
Névér be tiréd öf döing lìttlè things for öthers
Projecting an image
,¤’¤’¤, Caring for
””V/””a friend is
,,,)(,,, like a tree!
Not all people who text use text speak. It is like a new language that only active texters can understand. We should learn to respect those who are not comfortable using the language. Some people love it, some people hate it. I believe that language is always evolving and we cannot do something about it. (source)
It is easy to see the evolution of languages from a simple look at the lists of new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary every year. There are always words, which a few years before, would not have been understood by anyone. Imagine this over many thousands of years and you begin to see the pattern in which languages evolve.
We can see it in our own language of English. If we look back to Old English, and the likes of Beowulf, the language is almost impossible to understand without some kind of translation aid.
The evolution of languages is a complicated and complex topic. It happens over many thousands of years, but what cannot be disputed is that language does change.