The English language is famously adaptable. In just the past few years, the Oxford Dictionaries have added such words and phrases as "vacay," "refollow," "death stare," "geek chic," "lulz," "tweeps" and "facepalm."
That’s impressive. But it’s really nothing when compared to what’s happening on smartphones all across America. There, the English language is getting twisted and turned so much that it’s hard to believe it’s still English at all.
Like, what does "¯\_(ツ)_/¯" mean, really?
To prove our point, we went through our own phones to figure out how the English language differs from whatever the hell it is we use when texting. Here’s what we figured out.
- In English, the period is used to close a sentence.
- In text messages, it is used to show someone that you hate them without having to come out and say it.
- In English, an ellipsis is used to connect words or omit others.
- In text messages, it is a passive-aggressive way to say you feel awkward about the situation but have difficulty communicating your feelings with words.
- In English, the exclamation point is used sparingly to provide, well, exclamation.
- In text messages, it is used to indicate that you don’t hate the person you're texting. Feel free to use it after every sentence and in place of question marks. Multiple exclamation marks preferable.
- In English, "¯\_(ツ)_/¯" is not a real thing at all. It's a series of symbols, not a word.
- In text messages, it is an easy way to say, “I have nothing clever to say here. This conversation is over.”
No punctuation whatsoever
- In English, not using punctuation makes you a complete moron.
- In text messages, not using punctuation is a way to signal you feel comfortable with someone.
- In English, the word “Wow” is used to express genuine astonishment.
- In text messages, it is a way to passive-aggressively imply you are not interested in being text buddies.
- In English, it is an incorrect and strange way to spell “What.”
- In text messages, it is a way to express genuine astonishment.
- In English, it is a ridiculously unnecessary way to ask a question.
- In text messages, it is a desperate cry for validation.
- In English, it is an extended and misspelled version of the greeting word “Hey.” No practical applications whatsoever.
- In text messages, it is a way to text a crush without seeming like SO much of a creep.
- In English, it is one of the simplest forms of greeting.
- In text messages, it’s the worst possible thing you can say to someone.
- In English, it is a "poetic" or "idiotic" spelling of the word "tonight."
- In text messages, "2night" is used to create a sense of lightness that hopefully masks your desperate need for companionship.
- In English, a comma is a punctuation mark that has many uses, including separating certain types of clauses.
- In text messages, it makes you look like the most uptight person in America.
- In English, a semicolon is used for many purposes too complicated to get into here.
- In text messages, who do you think you are? Truman fucking Capote?
- In English, "K" is the letter “K.” It comes between "J" and "L" in the alphabet.
- In text messages, it is a way to passive-aggressively acknowledge someone without necessarily agreeing.
- In English, "KK!" is the letter “K” but twice and with an exclamation mark afterward.
In text messages, it is a way to casually yet flirtatiously show interest in someone.
- In English, it is a more colloquial way to ask, “How are you?”
- In text messages, it means, “I am bored. Dear God, please save me.”
- In English, complete nonsense.
- In text messages, the nicest thing someone can say to another human besides “I love you.”
I love you
- In English, it means “I love you.”
- In text messages, it’s probably too soon. Put the phone down. Now.