I am Afrikaans speaking and English was not foreign to me, since I worked at a company where it was the rule. I can even do a bit of Latin and pride myself on my knackfor languages. There was one language however that I had very little practise in when I arrived here – Textese. Yes, it is a language,and if you want to be part of the social networking phenomenon called FB (facebook) you will have to learn how to speak textese.
I am still a fan of a word written out in full. I enjoy reading and understanding what is said in a glance of the eye. Textese has reduced me to sounding out alphabetical letters and numbers to try and understand what it means. It brought back days of me as a six year old reading Sus en Daan booklets, sounding out, S-U-S Sus E-N en D-A-A-N Daan.
I love the buy and sell pages that have sprung up all over Facebook. In Kalgoorlie the Buy and Sell page replaced the second hand shops and I was able to get rid of most of my unwanted items without ever holdinga garage sale. I was also able to buy a DeLonghi Coffee machine that usually retails for about $1800 at Harvey Norman for $200 (Stru!) But, me understanding Facebook Talk helped quite a bit.
Here goes my attempt to help you to at least understand Facebook speak. (Please know that this is not an encompassing list/discussion of FB language/textese, please add to it in the comments section if you want to.)
I will try and make this an interesting read instead of just adding columns full of acronyms.
As far as I know (AFAIK) textese has become part of every day life. Young people can thumb talk behind their backs because parents are watching (PAW).
As you join FB groups you will notice that people make strange comments on your posts. If you are asking an interesting question that they would like to get the answer to as well, they wil comment with either a F (following) or a . (Full stop/period in the comments section.) No one is swearing at you. It means that they will get a notification every time someone comments on your post. (Totally off the point, but I think the San people already have textese as a language. What is the shortest joke in San? X! What is the shortest dirty joke in San? X –ahhhh!)
You will sometimes notice the words BUMP in the comments section of a post. It means Bring Up My Post. It will take that post to the top of the page again. Do not worry you are not being shirtfronted by any one and no one will get bumped.
When you want to sell something and one person has already commented that they want it, you will often get someone making a comment, NIL. No, they do not think your item is worthless, they want to be NEXT IN LINE should the interested party not pitch up to collect the item.
I have found that the impersonal glare of the computer screen and the tendency to want to keep it simple “stupid” (KISS) often times make us sound so abrupt and pleinweg ongeskik! Thank goodness for smiley faces. Please (PLZ) use them wisely. And remember you manners, thanking people in advance (TIA) will go a long way. You can even wish them a nice day (HAND). You may be greeted with a great (gr8) response.
Sometimes I enjoy doing the Big Brother thing and read the comments people make on controversial posts and I find myself laughing our loud (LOL) but seldom rolling on the floor with laughter (ROFL). It is amazing to see how someone’s honest opinion (IMHO) becomes the gateway of abuse meeted on that poor person. Be very careful that you do not shout on the screen, make sure your caps lock is off. You do not want to be seen as overly aggressive.
When someone asks you to PM him, please send him a message and if you are not friends, tell him to go look in his Others folders in the comment section under his post. PM has nothing to do with PMS. Be very careful with sharing your personal information. Do not give your number out in the comment sections of posts on Facebook. Social networking can not be unnetworked.
A wonderful thing about the world of Facebook is the ability to track people down. Especially people who have disappeared. People will share the photo Australia and even worldwide and will indicate that it has been shared in 6030. The number does not indicate how many times it has been shared, but in what postal code division it has been shared.
There are webpages dedicated to the textese acronyms and their meaning, google it and you will shake your head (SMH) at the fact that communication has been reduced to this. Whether you like it, or hate it (IH8I) you will have to accept that it has become part of every day life. You will also understand that it is very important to use the correct acronyms at the right time, lest you inform your son that his cat died with the following text:
SMS to son:
Ur cat died. LOL. Mum
SMS to mum:
Mum, why r u laughing?
SMS to son:
Why? I’m not laughing 😦
SMS to mum
Why did you say LOL?
SMS to son
Does it not mean Lots of Love?
SMS to mum
No, Mum, it is Laughing out Loud.