Apparently This Is How Teens Speak To Each Other Now. We Call BS.
The Debrief: AWGTHTGTTA? Erm, I hope not.
Back in the day, the limited amount of characters on our Nokia 3310s (459, FYI) meant shortening words was obligatory, lest you spend another precious 10p sending a second text which was out of the question – you weren't made of pocket money. Like using ‘2’ instead of ‘to’ and ‘u’ rather than ‘you’. All very self-explanatory and straight-forward, right?
But apparenly this isn’t is the case nowadays. The Department of Education have recently launched a website called Parent Info with the aim of providing information and advice for parents about things that could affect their children, with a particular focus on online safety which, of course, is a very positive move. Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities spoke about the launch saying that, ‘The internet is an incredibly powerful tool, which is changing the way our children learn and stay in touch. But we must also make sure we do everything we can to help them stay safe online. As a parent myself, I understand how important it is to know your child is safe and that’s why this new online service is so important.’
On there, they've included a guide to ‘text speak’ – to help parents decipher what their kids are actually writing when they chat to their mates online, but herein lies the problem. Because the very long list (the full one and the follow-up can be found on Netlingo) seem to be a little... farfetched, shall we say. These are some of the acronyms it includes...
420 – Marijuana
459 – I love you
AWGTHTGTTA – Are We Going To Have To Go Through This Again
WYRN – What's Your Real Name?
WUF – Where You From
GNOC – Get Naked On Cam
GYPO – Get Your Pants Off
HAK – Hugs And Kisses
I thought I’d put it to the test and text my 17-year-old brother the more appropriate ones to see whether he knew WTF (see what I did there?) I was talking about. This is what happened:
So, yeah, he had no clue, leading me to confidently call BS on this list. OK, that’s not representative of the entire younger generation, sure, and they definitely use slang and text speak in messages, but this list seems a little over-the-top. With so many young people using the internet on the reg, it’s clear that online safety is a really important issue to talk about, and it’s great that the government is taking proactive steps to create more of a open dialogue around it, but is dolling out this list to parents going to help? Well, if they’re not actually speaking like it in the first place, then no.
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