The act of texting often involves the use of an abbreviated form of language that creates a faster typing experience for short messages. While this form of text is useful for its intended purpose, it has no place in professional writing. Texting language often uses pictures created through the use of particular characters or single letter and/or number combinations to represent certain English words.
“U” vs “you”
One of the most common ways to abbreviate often-used words is through the shortening of words to one letter or to remove the vowels or other letters from the word. The word “you” for example, is often abbreviated as “u.” While the intended word might stay clear in the abbreviated form, it is not appropriate. Consider the following:
Incorrect: U should always spell out the words u use in the proper English form to make sure ur message is clear.
Correct: When you use texting language in formal writing, it makes your writing appear unprofessional.
In the above examples, the contexts of both sentences are clear. However, when texting language is used, the writing appears uneducated or lazy – hurting any message you are trying to convey.
Texting words with numbers in the spelling
Another common use of texting language is to use numbers to shorten the spelling of a word or to represent a word in an abbreviation. For example, “g8t” is often used in place of “great,” or “g4i” is used in place of “go for it.”
Incorrect: While your ambition is g8t, if u dnt g4i, u cnt succeed. (g8t = great, u = you, dnt = don’t, cnt= can’t).
Correct: If you are a great writer, you should identify what you hope to accomplish, and go for it.
In the above examples, the intended meanings in the texting language may or may not come across to a specific reader; it depends on your readers’ knowledge of texting. In addition to clarity and professionalism, spelling words in the traditional English way ensure anyone reading your content knows exactly what you intended to say.