Due to the overwhelming popularity of mobile phones, the shorthand language of text messages has become so commonplace that even the Concise Oxford Dictionary has decided to recognise it.
The revised edition of the dictionary, published today, contains an entire subsection devoted to the language of text messaging. The subsection has its own appendix featuring dozens of examples of the abbreviated words so commonly used by the young - and not so young - in today's technological society.
The publishers of the dictionary claim that the influence of text message speak (txt msg spk) "is now such that we felt it was time to treat it as an integral part of English".
Examples that have found their way into many a text message or email conversation include BBLR (be back later), HAND (have a nice day) and the ever familiar emoticons :) (happy), :( (sad) and ;) (cheeky).
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