Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does the style (if it is) shown in the picture below have a particular name?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
Fascinating. Where did you see this/take this picture? – Mitch Jun 21 '12 at 20:10
@Mitch that's a polite way to put it. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 21 '12 at 20:14
I definitely misread this as something vulgar on the front page. You know what, on reading it again, I still think it's vulgar, it just isn't obscene. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 21 '12 at 20:56
@Mitch According to Flikr it was "taken on July 9, 2006 in East End, London, England, GB." – Fuhrmanator Jun 21 '12 at 21:15
It’s certainly a lot shorter than the version I learned: “If with all your hearts ye truly seek me, ye shall ever surely find me, thus saith our God.” – tchrist Jun 22 '12 at 0:16

2 Answers 2

This shorthand is known as textspeak.

SMS language or textese (also known as txt-speak, txtese, chatspeak, txt, txtspk, txtk, txto, texting language, txt lingo, SMSish, txtslang,or txt talk) is a term for the abbreviations and slang most commonly used due to the necessary brevity of mobile phone text messaging, in particular the widespread SMS (Short Message Service) communication protocol.

share|improve this answer
True, but that doesn't account for 'da Lord'. So some kind of AAVE as well, perhaps? – Barrie England Jun 21 '12 at 19:55
But da is two keystrokes for "the". Both d and a are the first letters on their respective keys. Only d would be shorter (and is used for "the" in some dialects of Txtspk). – Andrew Leach Jun 21 '12 at 20:14
@AndrewLeach: Thank you. – Barrie England Jun 21 '12 at 20:53
The plain English bit at the bottom is your big clue that this is in fact what is going on. A picture of a phone keyboard with "Free messaging...Chat with God!". – T.E.D. Jun 21 '12 at 21:58
@FumbleFingers The capitalization is pretty normal, in my experience, even if the abbreviations aren't; seeing this stirs up memories of fighting with several phones that had T9 predictive text and would somehow get themselves back on what I can only call the Suddenly Capitalize Every Word setting or the ReMembr typos UnexpectedLY setting. – aedia λ Jun 22 '12 at 1:53

At one time, back before there was any even arguably good reason for it, this was called Princespeak.

share|improve this answer
I don't see anything relevant at that link. Can you explain what association Prince has with abbreviated writing? – Marthaª Jun 21 '12 at 22:45
@Marthaª: Search for the word princespeak in it. Prince started using that crap way back; remember "Nothing Compares 2 U"? – chaos Jun 22 '12 at 11:45
No, I don't. More to the point, I shouldn't have to: your answer should be self-contained. Links can support an answer, but they are not an answer on their own. – Marthaª Jun 22 '12 at 13:51
@chaos I don't think Prince ever recorded that, he just gave it to Sinead O'Connor. A better example might be I Would Die 4 U. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 22 '12 at 14:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.