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About Cyber Speak

Cyber Speak Is Efficient

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Cyber Speak makes far more use of abbreviations (i.e., initialisms, acronyms, contractions, and syllabic abbreviations) than Standard English. This is because Cyber Speak is designed to be used on the move using a small, fiddly "keyboard". Cyber Speak allows meaning to be conveyed as fast as possible.

Read more about abbreviations, icons, and slang terms.

Cyber Speak Is Effective

Cyber Speak uses emoticons and icons, and it generally "over" uses things like hugs (O) and kisses (X) in message post-ambles. These ensure that the correct message tone is conveyed. Generally, these additions are used to convey positive or friendly sentiments. The absence of such "paraphernalia" can be construed as a deliberate, stern tone for the message.

Without these additions, the text becomes emotionless, and message recipients often apply the wrong emotion. This routinely leads to misunderstandings and even arguments. Of note, terms like LOL (Laughing Out Loud) should not always be taken literally. Often, a sender will use a term like LOL to ensure the spirit of the message is conveyed.

Read more about inserting tone into text messages.

Cyber Speak Is Fun

In Cyber Speak, many of the terms are a mix of letters, numbers, and punctuation. In most of the terms, the letters, numbers, and punctuation are used like letters (e.g., M8 = mate) or like words (e.g., 4U). In others, these characters are used to draw icons (e.g.,   : ) = happy   : D = very happy   :DD = very very happy) while, in others, the terms have developed "mathematically" (e.g., M9 = best mate, one better than M8).

The rise of digital gadgets has also produced new contexts to play with linguistically (e.g., </html> = shut up). (NB: </html> is the tag that tells a browser the webpage has ended.)

Many of the terms in Cyber Speak were borne from playful manipulation of more basic slang terms or Standard English terms, but this should not detract from their efficiency.

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