~What is Chatspeak?~

Welcome to The Help Station! Today we'll be discussing "Chatspeak."

BLURSH: Along with us is Fex! Hello, Fex! How are you?

Fex : AWESOME! :3

BLURSH: Cool. So, first off. Would you like to help us out with a definition of "what chatspeak is?"

Fex : Sure, let me go find my trusty dictionary~

BLURSH: Okay. *waits while she grabs her trusty dictionary*

Fex : Alrighty~ *looks up chatspeak*

Fex : Hmm... It appears that chatspeak is not in my dictionary. D:

BLURSH: Uh-oh! We'll have to call for backup. Perhaps we can phone a friend?

Fex : XD Who should we call?

BLURSH: Maybe a fellow webmistress?

Fex : Or maybe we should look on Wikipedia? O:

BLURSH: Yeah, that works, too. I like Wikipedia!

BLURSH: *dances while Fex looks up Chatspeak on Wikipedia*

Fex : *looks it up*

BLURSH: Psst. Notice I'm making her do all the work?

BLURSH: This is the goal of a good webmistress: Get others to do your job! Just kidding!

Fex : *hits BLURSH with a fish* *goes back to searching*

BLURSH: Ew, fish! *runs to get bleach*

BLURSH: *runs back to the computer* I hate fish! DX

BLURSH: ... It appears Fex has gotten lost in the never-ending information highway of Wikipedia, which brings me to my next point: Buy low, sell high.

Fex : Alright, I've got the definition. :3

BLURSH: And, she's back!

BLURSH: What is it?

Fex : SMS language (also known as chatspeak, txt, txtspk, txtk, texting language or txt talk) is the English language slang used in mobile phone SMS. It is an abbreviated form of English similar to a rebus. With predictive text input increasingly being used, it is becoming less common. This type of language does not always obey or follow standard English grammar; furthermore, the words used in the writing system can't be found in standard dictionaries. The invention of mobile phone messages may be considered as its source, although elliptical styles of writing dating back to at least the days of telegraphese. There are no standard rules for writing SMS languages, and a lot of words can also be shortened, such as "text" then turns into "txt".

Fex : Words can also be combined with numbers to make them shorter, such as "later" turns into "l8er". SMS is similar to AOL speak and Telex speak, and has evolved from the shorthand use in Internet chatrooms to accommodate the small number of characters allowed (early SMS permitted only 160 characters and some carriers charge messages by the number of characters sent), and as a convenient language for the small keyboards on mobile phones. Without practice, sending SMS messages can be time consuming.

Fex : The objective of txt is to use the fewest number of characters needed to convey a comprehensible message. Hence, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization are largely ignored.

Fex : Quite lengthy, eh?

BLURSH: Wow, that's a long definition, indeed.

BLURSH: But, it gets the point across. Most people that truly use chatspeak would never read all that!

BLURSH: But, that's the answer straight from Wikipedia, correct, Fex?

Fex : Yep.

BLURSH: Alright. Now, I've got another question...

BLURSH: *loves being the interviewer*

BLURSH: When is it appropriate to use chatspeak over normal English and grammar?

BLURSH: Fex, could you give us your personal answer?

Fex : I'd say when you're texting someone on your cell phone.

BLURSH: How about while IMing?

Fex : I guess that's okay, but I prefer to just type it out in proper English.

Fex : *grammar nazi*

BLURSH: Yes, me, too. *halt!*

BLURSH: But, for those out there that would like the complete "Computer For Dum-Dums", could you tell us "What is IM?"

Fex : Hmm... I can't think of a definition right now.

Fex : Let's ask Wikipedia~

BLURSH: Well, what does it stand for?

Fex : Instant messaging.

BLURSH: Thank you.

BLURSH: Now, we'll get Wiki's POV.

BLURSH: (("Point of view", for those of you who are new here.))

BLURSH: While Fex is doing more research I'd like to mention that I'm here till Friday and enjoy the shrimp!

Fex : O_o; Okay, then.

Fex : Wiki's definition:

Fex : Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is conveyed via computers connected over a network such as the Internet.

Fex : Small compared to the chatspeak definition.

BLURSH: Yes, indeed.

BLURSH: And that was straight from the Wiki's mouth! You must believe it!

BLURSH: Anyway, back to chatspeak, I'd like to ask you another question. Is that alright?

Fex : Sure. :3

BLURSH: When is it not appropriate to being talking in Chatspeak?

BLURSH: Your opinion/view, Fex?

Fex : In emails and such, I'd say.

BLURSH: How about when talking in a site's comment box?

Fex : You could, but I think that it makes the webmaster/mistress lose respect for you.

BLURSH: Yes, I agree. Also, if the Rules say that chatspeak is frowned upon, it's probably best to avoid altogether, right?

Fex : Right. :3

BLURSH: But, for those that don't know what a Comment Box is, can you tell them?

BLURSH: Exactly what is the purpose of a comment box on a site, such as this one?

Fex : Well, it's simply to converse with other sitegoers, or tell the webowner something without having to email them.

BLURSH: Exactly! And, what is it not to be used for?

Fex : Spam.

Fex : Not the nasty meat that comes in a can, mind you.

BLURSH: RighT with a capital T!

Fex : O_o;

BLURSH: Also, most c-boxes (short for "comment boxes") aren't suppose to be used for advertising, correct?

Fex : Correct.

BLURSH: And, they are absolutely not suppose to be used for... FLAMING!

BLURSH: Did I spell that right?

Fex : Yes.


BLURSH: Yes, what I said!

Fex : And you are indeed correct.

BLURSH: Another place I was thinking of that sometimes gets people who use chatspeak is Forums and Role Playing sites. This isn't really the proper place, is it?

Fex : Not at all.

Fex : Most Role Playing sites I've been on strongly discourage chatspeak.

BLURSH: Yes, guest and members should try their best to use proper grammar, fluent writing, so as not to annoy the webowner and others interested in reading what's being posted.

BLURSH: Chatspeak can be plain annoying on sites like those.

Fex : And in some cases, it can even get you banned from the forum/roleplay site.

BLURSH: And, no one wants that!

BLURSH: But, despite what Wiki says, I see a lot of chatspeakers nowadays. Do you think it's on the rise?

Fex : Possibly.

Fex : It's hard to believe that back in 2005, I was a chatspeak user, too. D:

BLURSH: Oh, no!

BLURSH: Can I let you in on something?

BLURSH: I, yes, even I, use chatspeak sometimes...

BLURSH: *bows head*

Fex : *hugs BLURSH*

BLURSH: *hugs Fex back*

Fex : :3

BLURSH: But, not all chatspeak is bad!

BLURSH: As we pointed out before, it can be useful when texting on your cell phone and occasionally when IMing friends.

BLURSH: The key is to use in moderation, right, Fex?

Fex : Indeed.

BLURSH: Now, can you give us a few examples of common chatspeak abbreviations?

BLURSH: Go ahead, enlighten us!

Fex : Well, some words are just shortened to letters.

BLURSH: Okay, like what?

Fex : See becomes c, you becomes u, be becomes b, are becomes r, and why becomes y.

BLURSH: How would I say something like "see you later?"

Fex : It would be 'c u l8r'.

BLURSH: And, what if I wanted to express that something is funny? What's the term to use there?

Fex : 'lol', which stands for 'laugh out loud'.

Fex : 'lol' isn't a bad chatspeak phrase to use, though.

Fex : I use it on a regular basis. XD

BLURSH: What does the XD stand for?

BLURSH: Just for those that aren't familiar with that...

Fex : It's a smiley. Tilt your head to the left to see it better.

Fex : The X is the eyes, and the D is the mouth.

BLURSH: Ah, I see it!

BLURSH: Very funny.

BLURSH: Do you know what "fofl" stands for?

Fex : Falling on the floor laughing. :3

BLURSH: And, then "rofl" stands for...?

Fex : Rolling on the floor laughing.

BLURSH: Ingenius!

Fex : :3 Indeed.

BLURSH: Another one I see a lot is OMG and you sometimes say OMS. What do those stand for?

Fex : 'OMG' is 'Oh my God', and 'OMS' is 'Oh my Squee'.

BLURSH: How cool! Can you tell the newcomers here what "Squee" stands for?

BLURSH: Perhaps a definition in your own words?

Fex : Squee is everything that's good in the world~ <3 *shot*

BLURSH: Like... the song by Foreigner. "I wanna know what love is" can be changed to "I wanna know what squee is?"

Fex : Yeah. :3

BLURSH: Beautiful!

BLURSH: It's like the coolest thing since the word... "cool."

Fex : I'm not too good at describing what squee is, though. Maybe you can describe it better, BLURSH.

BLURSH: Well, to me squee is a beautiful word. It's like groovy, rad, and cool all combined in one.

BLURSH: It's a world of flavors and textures that we don't get all too often.

BLURSH: It's really a revolutionary word.

BLURSH: I think we all should be using it!

Fex : So true.

BLURSH: I'm so glad you were able to share that with everyone. Hopefully it'll benefit their lives like it has mine.

Fex : <3 I hope so, too.

BLURSH: Are there any other words of wisdom you'd like to offer before I ask our next chatspeak question?

Fex : Hmm... only that you can also subsitute bad words for squee.

Fex : For instance, 'what the F***?' can be turned into 'what the squee?'

BLURSH: That can be useful if you don't want a bad reputation.

BLURSH: Also, I've said Holy Squee before, instead of saying the other 4-letter disaster.

BLURSH: Okay, I have one last chatspeak question.

BLURSH: Are you ready?

Fex : Yes.

BLURSH: Do you think that it's possible to get addicted to using chatspeak instead of proper English and grammar?

Fex : I'd say yes.

Fex : I've heard people who say that they know proper grammar, but they choose not to use it.

BLURSH: Is there a way to help people to get back into the routine of proper English and grammar?

BLURSH: Or... are they d00med?

Fex : Well, I wouldn't say d00med... XD

BLURSH: Yes, because that's n00bish. XD

Fex : But you will certainly run into problems later in life if you keep using chatspeak.

BLURSH: Such as...?

Fex : Well, say you need to hand in a resume at a job interview.

Fex : Your to-be employer won't want to see chatspeak on the resume.

Fex : Chatspeak could cost you your job!

BLURSH: Oh, that's very true. I've heard of that happening.

Fex : And if you don't get a job, you won't get any money.

Fex : And you won't be able to afford a house.

Fex : And you'll be living in your parents' basement until you're 32!

Fex : All because you used chatspeak!! D:

BLURSH: So, in reality, chatspeak should never replace proper English. We should all constantly practice good speech if we want to live!!

Fex : Indeed.

BLURSH: What do you suggest that frequent chatspeakers should do?

Fex : Practice, practice, practice.

Fex : Try to go a week without using chatspeak.

BLURSH: Do you think that really works?

Fex : Maybe. I'm not sure. *shot*

BLURSH: Would enrolling in a writing class help, too?

Fex : Certainly.

BLURSH: And, would constantly proof-reading emails and letters to make sure everything is correct help?

Fex : Yep.

BLURSH: I've heard of chatspeak support groups. People come and eat donuts and talk about their problem of using chatspeak too often. Then they work on using normal speech again. Do you think that this might help a person?

Fex : There are chatspeak support groups?

Fex : Is that like AA?

BLURSH: Yes. It's a 12-step program.

BLURSH: You don't need to use your name or anything. Just your computer username.

BLURSH: I hear they give you pins after each step.

BLURSH: If there is one in your local area, I suggest going to it. It seems to be paramount if you ever want to get a job.

BLURSH: Do you agree, Fex?

Fex : Yes.

BLURSH: But, all in all, you won't ever get to that point if you use chatspeak in moderation. Only use it around a friend who can tell you when you are going over-board. And, when you start diving in too deep, please get help right away.

BLURSH: Or, asap, if you are already in a deep state.

BLURSH: Well, Fex. Thank you so much for your time!

BLURSH: You've help me out enormously and, I'm sure, many others!

Fex : No problem~ :3

BLURSH: Please, readers, give Fex a big round of applause for her help!

BLURSH: *claps*

Fex : *bows*

Fex : :3

BLURSH: Now, I hope you'll join us next time when we talk about "What Are Smileys?"

BLURSH: Would we be granted that honor next time?

Fex : Of course.

Fex : I'll come back anytime.

BLURSH: Thank you so much!

Fex : I do own half the site after all... XD

BLURSH: Well, yes, yes. Anyway, that concludes our talk about Chatspeak. Good night and best wishes to all chatspeakers out there.

BLURSH: *pokes Fex*

BLURSH: Say Good night!

Fex : Buenos noches~ :3