Wordplay is a blog project featuring posts from students enrolled in ENG 320 Grammar and Linguistics (Fall 2019)

Normal Abbreviations or Texting Abbreviations: What’s the Big Deal?

Katie Strohschein

In today’s society it seems like all the children I see have a phone in their hands, and these children are interacting with others in some form of texting communication. This makes me wonder if their texting lingo will appear in their academic writings. I remember sitting in my junior English class and having my teacher, Mrs. Hansen, tell us that our texting language was not allowed or appropriate in our research papers. When she referred to texting language, she was talking about our texting abbreviations such as; LOL, LUV, LMAO, OML, GTG, BRB, etc. Many years after I graduated high school, I came to the realization that we can use normal abbreviations but not texting abbreviations. When writing a paper I was always told the first time you use an abbreviation to write the full meaning of it, then throughout the rest of the paper you are allowed to only write the abbreviation without the meaning, because it was already stated earlier in the paper. So my question is why are we not able to do the same thing with texting abbreviations?

            One of the most commonly used texting abbreviations is “OMG” (Oh My Goodness), this abbreviation was not first used by teens in the 21st Century but in 1917 by British Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher to Winston Churchill! In the letter to Churchill, Fischer wrote, “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis–O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)–Shower it on the Admiralty!!”. (dictionary.com). This is one huge example that shows that even in professional correspondence that texting abbreviations can be used to get the same point across to the reader.

            Many teachers and professors do not want their students to use texting abbreviations because it is “unprofessional” and makes their papers less credible, but the first cited use of OMG was used in a professional letter by diplomats! This is a prime example to show that if students use these types of abbreviations sparingly in their papers that it can make a big impact on their writing! Every teacher will have a different viewpoint on this topic, but sooner or later this new type of language will slowly creep into writing; that is, if it is not already there.

I hope that this blog made you start thinking about how texting abbreviations can be used just like normal abbreviations in the formal writing setting!


Is Text Messaging Ruining English? (2019, October 29). Retrieved from

Images: https://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

Katie Strohschein is a junior at CSC studying Elementary Education. She attended Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyoming for three years and transferred to Chadron State College this semester to finish up her degree. She plans to students teach in South Dakota a graduate in May 2020. She hopes to teach second grade back home in Wright, Wyoming.


One thought on “Wordplay: Normal Abbreviations or Texting Abbreviations

  1. Great post Katie! I had no idea that the first-known use of OMG was in 1917, long before cell phones and modern technology. It honestly just goes to show that while texting makes abbreviations more common and popular, they are a normal aspect of our language, and we should not teach our students to avoid it. I do think that there is an obvious time and place to utilize abbreviations, and academic writing is not one of them, but more personal situations would be perfectly acceptable. As a teacher, I would probably implement the same rules your teacher did, because as technology advances further each day, our future students will know more about texting lingo at even younger ages . This was a very interesting topic to think about Katie!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s