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12:32 a.m. Mon, April 21st

Texting lingo tips for the hip senior

Mar 26, 2012, 9 a.m.

Some of the text messaging lingo they use these days is a little tricky, esoteric, even. The symbols *$, for instance, just looks like somebody was going for an R and they missed. It's actually short for Starbucks.

Making sense of text slang can be like solving those puzzles where images are used to suggest words, but it usually makes sense once somebody explains it to you. Keeping up is getting more important as these abbreviations are no longer a sign of laziness, but a communication necessity. Here are a few tips to staying on top of your text slang:

  1. Keep a Few Databases Handy. Sites like urbandictionary.com help you to stay on top of this stuff, although not all of the results are accurate. A free-to-edit slang database, Urban Dictionary is loaded with definitions of all sorts of street and web vernacular. The most accurate definitions will usually be voted to the top by those in the know.
  2. Assume the Mundane. Most web abbreviations are simple, broad phrases that people can use every day. "Laughing Out Loud," "Rolling On Floor, Laughing," "Talk To You Later" and so on. If you hear two different definitions for BRB, for instance, assume that "Be Right Back" is the correct one, not "Beginning to play Racquet Ball." If you couldn't use the phrase every day, someone's probably pulling your leg.
  3. Try Making Some Up. Get into the right mind set and make a few text abbreviations up. Maybe they won't catch on, but it puts you in the right mindset and it makes texting more fun.

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