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I would like to know if there is preexisting metalanguage or a term to describe the following types of abbreviations often present in textese or SMS language:

  1. see → c,
  2. you → u,
  3. are → r,
  4. your → ur, etc.

The abbreviation involves a letter of the alphabet representing a word that is one of its homophones, e.g., 'see' /siː/ → 'c'/siː/, etc.

The term that I’m looking for would be analogous to “initialism” for “for your information” → FYI.

I have already done a fair amount of research and cannot find an answer; e.g., I looked at the Leet Wikipedia page prior to posting this question and the information there does not provide a clear enough answer.

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet – michael.hor257k Aug 29 '18 at 12:53
  • I actually came across Origin and use of the abbreviation 'u' for ‘you’ recently. I'm not sure if it sufficiently addresses your own question—but it might help you add more clarification if it doesn't. (The question has less detail, but it is very specific in what it asks.) – Jason Bassford Sep 4 '18 at 0:57
  • That is an interesting question on this website but what I am REALLY looking for is some sort of metalanguage to define this specific type of abbreviation e.g. FYI - "for your information" is an initialism. – Cesco Sep 4 '18 at 1:00
  • Doesn’t that lead onto swampy ground like FYI and MAD, USA and NASA all being initialisms but not all acronyms? Does anything stop solo “U” or any single character being an acronym? How would you handle the different forms “UR” and, eg, “ID”? – Robbie Goodwin Sep 16 '18 at 18:07
  • An acronym, by definition, is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components in a phrase or a word. I don't think there would be any "swampy ground". If 'you' were to be abbreviated using this description, it would be y not u. – Cesco Sep 18 '18 at 1:44

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