The Next Rotation - The Universe of Fenris Fox
28 January 2007
Cyberspace: History Tends to Repeat: Digital Shorthand

Surfing links through one of the C|Net newsletters I get, I happened to stumble upon this little story, about the "code of teens' IM slang."

While - for a good typist, with good language skills - much of the jargon is superfluous, it does have its uses.

In IM or chat, I've been known to use them occasionally for often-used lengthy phrases - particularly where I'd rather spend my effort getting to the "meat of the issue."

Two I particularly like:

AFAIK: As Far As I Know. I like to throw this in, because while I tend to have a good memory on a wide variety of subjects, I am not infallible. Forget not this Chinese proverb:
"The palest ink is better than the best memory."
AFAIC: As Far As I'm Concerned - because sometimes, I don't care whether I'm accurate or not. =;o) :: giggle ::

Of course, the use of heavier abbreviation and acronymization can be much more appropriate - and even smart - in some contexts.

Cellular text messaging - something I particularly like when traveling on the bus, because it can be done without disturbing anyone, and with relative privacy - is a wise place to use this, no matter your age.

This is because the more meaning that you can pack into a small amount of actual letters, the more money you'll save. For me, text messages are charged a la carte - anything up to a certain length (which isn't too big - but is larger than the 160 characters of many older phones) is 10 cents (that may seem stiff - but I don't get charged for incoming messages, so it makes up for it). If I want to send something longer, I can - but it requires writing the second part into a second message - and paying another 10 cents.

Now, I don't abbreviate - and therefore save as much money - as I possibly could; I like to use T9 (a predictive, adaptive text entry algorithm), and so many of my words are full-length, or only missing the final letter (like the "g" in an "-ing" ending). Many others, however, are abbreviated, or spelled phonetically.

To make a long story short: Stenographers have used shorthand for ages; telegraph operators used to use Morse code (and amateur radio operators still do) - and now, adopters of popular digital communication services have also adopted shorthand.

As someone [identity unknown] once said, "There's nothing new under the sun."
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Assorted writings & artwork of a furry. Sometimes presented from the point-of-view of the author's "fursona" (personal furry): Fenris "Fenny" Fox, the futuristic kitsune.

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