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

Poster outside a church with bible quote in textspeak

“Whn U Ck Me, U WL Fnd Me Sez da Lord”

In full: When you seek me, you will find me says the Lord.


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.

  • True, but that doesn't account for 'da Lord'. So some kind of AAVE as well, perhaps? Jun 21, 2012 at 19:55
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    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, 2012 at 20:14
  • I disagree. Not that the average texter would be likely to send this exact message anyway, but if someone did, I suggest they'd never keep switching case as in the example here. Or be likely to use Ck for seek, for example. Yes, it's partly an advertiser's impression of textese. But it ain't the real thing, by a long shot. Jun 21, 2012 at 21:56
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    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, 2012 at 21:58
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    @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, 2012 at 1:53

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

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    I don't see anything relevant at that link. Can you explain what association Prince has with abbreviated writing?
    – Marthaª
    Jun 21, 2012 at 22:45
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    @Marthaª: Search for the word princespeak in it. Prince started using that crap way back; remember "Nothing Compares 2 U"?
    – chaos
    Jun 22, 2012 at 11:45
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    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, 2012 at 13:51
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    @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. Jun 22, 2012 at 14:29

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