The new shorthand

in Contributors/Lee Scott by

By Lee Scott

When I was in high school, my father had a secretary who would take shorthand and then type up his letters.   For those of you that don’t recall this antiquated practice, there is a definition supplied by Wikipedia.  “Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to a normal method of writing a language.” Welcome to the 21st century and the new art of shorthand called texting.

I never learned shorthand, but I have found myself having to learn the new abbreviated language. It began with my cellphone carrier and its Directory Assistance texts.  These texts  gave me not only the telephone number, but the business name, the address and map directions to get to the business.

Along with these texts came a new phrase for me. “Data chgs apply” which meant that I better check out my phone bill  because “chgs” meant charges.

Once I got started, the whole process snowballed and I had to learn the language. The first lesson was from my daughter: “Where R U?” Easy enough, but my fingers typing on the phone came out, 200 miles away, instead of 20 miles and she wasn’t home when I got there.  When I texted, “Where R U?” she didn’t respond because she had gone to the movies. So much for communication.  I had to learn some basic rules.

Rule One: Make sure that you correct all your mistakes before you hit send.

Rule Two: Make sure you know the basic text words like LOL. My girlfriend thought it meant “Lots Of Love” and wondered why I would respond to some of her texts with LOL.

Rule Three: Auto-correct is Not your friend. This program changes the simplest words or phrases into something obscene.

Rule Four: Make sure you know to whom you are sending the text. A particular erotic email to a spouse can be misinterpreted if it goes to your business partner or client.

Rule Five: Watch out for younger family members. They send “Group Messages” which can really get you in trouble when you mean to send a text to just one person.

Rule Six: Go to one of the senior pages on the Internet and learn some new text abbreviations. My favorite response to “Where R U?” is “OMMR”  On My Massage Recliner. I laughed because some of the “senior texts”  are really imaginative.

And for those that are having hearing issues or don’t want to shout into the other room, this new shorthand is ideal.   My husband and I have started to text each other when we are in the same house, like right now.  “Boatng?”  “10-4” Time to go.