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Although we have used text speak everywhere, this word may not be something very familiar to us. Also called as SMS language, textese, chatspeak, txt lingo, and by many other names, it is nothing but an abbreviation, acronym, or initials used while chatting over the phone.
This word was not in a mainstream until it made its appearance in the SMS platform. Especially after the introduction of internet and apps, it gained some more popularity among youngsters. Now, it has been used everywhere including the emails and chatrooms. But, if you look back, it has got an interesting history like other old things on the internet.
Usage in telegrams
In the earlier days when phones and internet were of longer reach, people opted for telegrams to convey their messages to their dear once. Since each word on the telegram was costing few bucks, people always tried to reduce the number of texts.
In such cases, they were forced to use the text speak to reduce the telegram cost. They used some coded expressions and abbreviations which both the receiver and sender agreed upon.
At the time of Winston Churchill
If we dig deeper, we will realize the in-depth history of text speak. It dates back to 19th century where it was found in a letter written to Winston Churchill in 1917. It included a word "OMG" with it's meaning next to it. This letter was found in a collection held by British Library.
Appearance in poem
It sounds surprising to know this text speaks were used in poems as well. A poem which was published in 1867 from Gleanings from the Harvest-Fields of Literature consisted few such verses in it.
Charles C Bombaugh used it as, "I wrote 2 U B 4" and "He says he loves U 2 X S,/ U R virtuous and Y's,/ In X L N C U X L/ All others in his i's."
This being the history, text speak is used by everyone nowadays. As messages and apps emerged, people started using text speak in this newly introduced platform as well. Lots of words like LOL, ASAP, PLZ, GM, GN, CYA, THX, BTW, and many more have become the part of our daily conversations.
Some observers even consider text speak as a modern-day inertia and also a tool for laziness. Making the messages look informal, it is preferred not to use everywhere.