C U L8R, Guys! Why We're Judging You On Your Texting Lingo

girl cell phone

"Men save time by using abbreviations. I use that time to judge them."

I once dated a guy who had a thing for not just texting, but emailing in nothing but acronyms and such absurd jargon that, as a writer, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did — a whole month and a half. The last straw finally came one night when he sent me a text that said "C U L8R." I stared at it for easily 10 minutes, completely clueless as to what the "L8R" part was supposed to translate to, but when it became clear, I knew it was time to say goodbye.

As someone who's pretty obsessive about people spelling out full words even in text messages, I wondered if I was alone. So, I asked the ladies their thoughts on dating a guy who uses text lingo, acronyms, and all that jazz in emails and, obviously, in texts, too. Is it OK if he emails or texts you "C U L8R," or responds to funny things with "LOL," "LMAO," or the rest of that malarkey? Is it utter laziness, disrespectful to the English language, a horrible assault on all the senses, or totally A-Okay? Here's what they had to say.

"LOL" is forgivable, but that's the only one.
"Other than 'LOL' here and there, I hate text lingo! Love emojis though!" exclaims Steph, 25.

"Don't like text lingo beyond 'LOL' — we have Qwerty keyboards now. If he can't text a sentence because he has an old school flip phone, then I'm already suspicious — not sure I'd expect him to last long enough to worry about receiving a ‘UR cute, CU L8R’ message. (I had to force my phone to spit out those abbreviations by the way; my phone only recognizes Army and nursing jargon.) He could send me a [winking emoji] though. I'd think that was cute," says Jen, 36.

"'LOL' contains the soul of brevity. 'LMAO' is childish," says Tracy, 37.

No, never, no way, nope.
"I hate it when anyone texts or emails in those stupid acronyms and abbreviations. I'm all for full sentences and proper punctuation, even in texts!" exclaims Lauren, 33.

"Kill the abbreviators. Kill them all," says Megan, 29.

"Men save time by using abbreviations. I use that time to judge them," says Jennifer, 27.

"While I embrace the fact that language is constantly evolving, I find eloquence and a good vocabulary hot. So, from a random person or friend, text lingo doesn't bother me. But if I were interested in someone, even 'LOL' would turn me off," says Tanya, 37.

Then there are the exceptions … especially when it comes to emojis.
"I can handle some abbreviations (I've learned to use many myself, mainly because of Twitter, even though they used to make me twitch). Emoticons are fine and convey real stuff, if used sparingly. LOL, IRL, FTR, IMHO are fine. 'C U L8R," would bug the ever-living crap out of me. I have never dated someone that felt the need to severely abbreviate EVERYTHING, so I’m not sure how I would handle it. I did, however, once stop following a former work buddy on FB because she seemed to ONLY speak in abbreviations here, of all places, where your characters aren't limited — and I mean whole PARAGRAPHS. I couldn't handle it," says Becky, 30.

"I'm not a fan of text lingo. It makes me think you're acting like a girly teenager. Emojis are okay when used thoughtfully (like when Tim Gunn on Project Runway says ‘Use the Aldo accessory wall thoughtfully!') Too many and you're an annoying pubescent teenybopper. On the other hand, texting with my husband, we have our own lingo and made up words. This I'm cool with because it makes me laugh," says Jill, 31.

"It's totally fine to use emoji, abbreviations, and stuff if I know the guy can write well, and he's just choosing to do so just to save time or is being playful," says Mieko, 38.

"I kinda really hate certain ones, like 'LMAO', but honestly, nothing conveys a message like a good sticker (speaking specifically here of FB messaging, obviously). When you want pizza for dinner and need to relate that quickly, he'll know exactly what it means when I send this [Pusheen eating pizza sticker]," says Sabrina, 27.

Breaking news: This isn't Wheel of Fortune.
"My husband is not the best speller but he texts in complete sentences and uses full words. I cannot handle 'C U L8R' or 'HW R U?' THIS IS NOT WHEEL OF FORTUNE. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY VOWELS," says Colleen, 30.


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