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Friday, 15 October, 1999, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Txt msging Part 2: The vocab list

Earlier this week, E-cyclopedia wrote about the boom in "txt msging" - sending short messages over mobile phones.

It followed a spate of adverts for different phones and networks, all trying to persuade potential customers that where words are concerned, less can be more. (Click here for the original article.)

The system used in the UK at the moment (SMS) limits messages to just 160 characters. And the process of writing messages can be laborious to say the least.

So there is a real premium in cutting out unnecessary letters - for instance, why write "unnecessary" when "uncsry" will do?

BBC News Online user Joyce Pelella, a 75-year-old UK ex-pat now living in Florida, took time off from running from Hurricane Floyd, to help us take it one step further.

Mobile phones still a growing market
Joyce worked as a court stenographer for years: before the advent of computers, stenography lived or died by finding short forms for familiar phrases.

So for instance, in the graphic above, the phrase "WOIBLT CU SOONS POBL" could be unzipped to mean "Would I be able to see you as soon as possible?"

That's 20 characters instead of 46.

Joyce was even able to supply some spying glamour to the story.

Her mother and uncle trained spies at Bletchley Park, the top secret base where British intelligence used the infamous Enigma machine to crack wartime codes.

Joyce even worked there as a courier.

"Whole sentences can be accomplished with approx. four letters," she said. " The context of what is being written keeps you straight as to what the word is.

She suggested some of the following abbreviations might come in useful for anyone txt msging.

Although they might appear nonsense at first, there is a certain logic in them.

(Feel free to add your suggestions, by e-mailing them to

    WOUBLT - Would you be able to?
    WOIBLT - Would I be able to?
    ULBLT - You will be able to
    DOUTH - Do you think
    FUR - If you are
    WEFD - We have had
    WEFB - We have been
    MAIFB- May have been
    WEFND - We have not had
    IFD - I have had
    WOUFD - Would have had
    THAUF - Thank you for
    FOURM - For your information
    WURD - Where do you reside
    ULBLT - You will be able to
    ILBT - I will be able to
    COFB - Could have been
    THEFB - They have been
    WOBGLD - Would be glad
    THAU - Thank you;
    SMAFT - As a matter of fact
    SRULT - As a result
    FURNT - If you are interested
    SOONS - As soon as
    POBL - Possible
    THAIM(T) - That I am (not)
    POFS - Post office
    AOT - Another
    SHUBL(T) - Should be able (to);
    WERG - We are going to;
    NAIBD - Neighbourhood
    NIG - Anything
    MED - Immediate
    PERL - Personal
    FURNT - If you are not
    GING - Beginning
    WRIG - Writing

WOUBLT - Would that be Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato?
FOURM - A funny thing happened on the way...
WURD - something on the streets...
MED - Sea immediately around Malta
PERL - computer language instruction that follows KNIT2
WRIG - do you want some chewing gum?

Submitted by: Ken Thornton-Smith

Here are some terms used in chat rooms and when playing games online

c u l8tr m8 - See You Later Mate
lol - Laughing Out Load (rotfl - Rolling on the floor laughing)
gr8 - Great
u@? - Where are you (You At)

Submitted by: Neil Skinner

a/s/l? - age/sex/location

Submitted by: Charles Blassberg

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