Can you understand text messages?

If you have difficulty understanding text messages, don't worry - you're not alone.

The language of text messages, based on abbreviations, has become so complex that over a third of businesses have difficulty understanding the messages they receive, according to a survey by the UK MDA (Mobile Data Association).

The popularity of text messages has created a highly complex new language, where :-/ means 'I am confused' and the letters 'HAND' mean have a nice day, so people have to learn abbreviations to comprehend even the simplest of messages.

"Teenagers use a fairly complex code, abbreviating words to minimise typing, similar to the way they speak to one another," said a spokesman at Yahoo, one of the many web firms to offer online text messaging. "But it is the older generation which seems to have more problems adopting this new language."

But it's not just 'older people' who are experiencing problems.

Eight in 10 business executives now converse via text messages, according to the MDA, but a third of those executives have trouble deciphering messages they have been sent by clients.

"The world of work seems to be lagging behind," said Dr David Lewis, communications specialist at MDA. "What many people in business would find useful are some practical tips on speaking text."

But is there really a need to use such complex abbreviations? Even the most proficient text users would be hard pushed to work out that, *()()()-{ translates to catch me if you can.

"Looking at some of my messages, I wonder if the person who sent them even understands what he's written," said Yahoo's spokesman.

Over 1.3 billion text messages were sent in December last year alone, with the craze set to continue growing.

A website set up by the MDA, www.text.it, has some handy hints on the art of text messaging.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Wendy Brewer

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?