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Txtng Lingo Dates Back to 130 Years

by Savitha C Muppala on August 25, 2010 at 5:09 PM
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 Txtng Lingo Dates Back to 130 Years

The texting language used on mobile phones these days is not something new as a study has revealed that a language resembling todays texting lingo was in use by Victorian writers.

The language arrived some 130 years ago, reports Discovery News.


Victorian writers already used abbreviations typical of textspeak, according to a forthcoming exhibition at the British Library.

According to The Guardian, the London exhibit will display a poem printed in 1867 which features a number of acronyms and abbreviations-the same used today when trying to overcome the standard 160-character limit of texting.

Called emblematic poetry, the Victorian writing style combined letters, numbers and logograms. An example is the "Essay to Miss Catharine Jay", or better, "An S A 2 Miss K T J."

Taken from Charles Carroll Bombaugh's Gleanings From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, the poem on display at the British Library exhibit, is filled with proto-text-speak expressions, such as "I wrote 2U B4" or "he says he love U2."

According to linguistics expert David Crystal, indeed, the mobile phone language isn't new at all.

"People have been initializing common phrases for ages... IOU [An abbreviation of the phrase "I owe you" ] is known from 1618," Crystal wrote in Txtng: The Gr8 Db8, (Texting: The Great Debate), a book on the SMS lingo.

Basically, there is no difference between a modern Twitter's "RTHX ("Thank you for the Retweet") and a "SWALK" ("sealed with a loving kiss") from Second World War letters.

Source: ANI
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