Online Lingo Translated

MAY 25, 2005 -- Cell phones and computers have become common place, but the language that's resulted from using them isn't so common.

Williston seventh graders Jordan Philips and Mary Link are translating what seems like another language. GTG means "gotta go" and LOL is an expression meaning "laugh out loud." It's teenage shorthand developed on the computer using instant messenger and on cell phones through text messaging.

Cell phones feature T-9 language buttons where the phone starts predicting what you write as you write it, but it still isn't as fast as what kids can abbreviate. In fact there are so many new acronyms there are web sites dedicated to deciphering them. One site has more than 20 pages worth.

The girls say they're responsible, but warn some people could get in trouble. Their mothers say it's all in fun. Mary's mom has seen them "use it as a toy so I can't hear what they're saying. They giggle about it."

FWIW, or "for what it's worth," the shorthand Jordan and Mary use is innocent. But an Internet search reveals other more vulgar messages. WTF stands for "what the ____. " GYPO means "get your pants off." Then there's KPC "keeping parents clueless" and POS, "parent over the shoulder."

Mary's mom knows POS. Jordan's mom says she doesn't know the lingo, but she does know to set limits. Mary's mom says "It's the first privilege taken away. They lose the phone for three days."

The girls are careful what they write and are learning responsibility in the process. Mary sent too many text messages and went $40.00 over on her parent's phone bill. She had to pay for it. Jordan and Mary say they will continue communicating in their own language.

If you need help translating the lingo, log on Scroll down the left side of the screen to acronyms, click on it and discover a whole alphabet worth of shorthand to read through. HTH, "hope this helps."

Reported by Ashley Hayes