Sunday, January 15, 2006

IM Speak....

Anyone who knows me, knows that one pet peeve of mine is what I call “IM speak”. When someone uses the abbreviations you might use on a text message on your phone to convey information in a forum, email, or any professional communication.

ANYON3 TAHT KNOWS ME KNOWS TAHT ONE PAT PEVE OF MIEN IS WUT I CAL “IM SP3AK”!!11111! LOL WHAN SOMEONE US3S TEH ABR3VIATIONS U MIGHT USE ON A T3XT MESAEG ON UR PHONE 2 CONV3Y INFORMATION IN A FORUM EMALE OR ANY PROFESIONAL COMUNICATION!111!11! OMG WTF LOL

I found a site that will take normal text and turn it into this “IM speak”. Now I’m looking for the site that does the opposite. I have had to go to online lookups at least twice in the last week just to turn some “IM speak” into text so I could understand the context (no kidding – I had no idea what they meant).

The funniest – I got a resume with a cover letter not long ago. It was unsolicited, but a formal resume none the less (they were serious). The resume and cover letter used “IM speak”! I just sat there staring at it for a while, totally incredulous. Hopefully the person that received my response to their inquiry took that response in the manner it was intended. To teach them that when not using a phone – the only way to write text is – well, to write text.

I am curious about one thing though. Is “IM speak” limited to ‘English’ – or is it a universal thing? In Chinese, or Farsi, or whatever you speak natively – do you come up with “IM speak” and do you use it in your day to day communication (not on the phone – in written correspondence)…

I found this disclaimer on that page to be really amusing:

I have no idea how it happened, but this site appears to have become somewhat of a phenomenon on the internet. As such, I've added a copyright notice at the bottom that includes contact information. Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed my creation!

I’ve a feeling I am not alone in my pet peeve and others have pointed to this site before. In fact the google plugin I use pretty much proves that out.
POST A COMMENT

92 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The US has been relatively late to embrace text messaging-- "IM speak" is indeed well entrenched all over the world. The French version is particularly maddening to me. I am, however, almost more concerned with what the Blackberry crowd is doing to email-- half-sentence emails with no subject line, often in IM-speak, and fired-off from the boarding gate without thinking too much first. Arrrg!

Sun Jan 15, 07:57:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

And I should add that this is from my executive bosses!

Sun Jan 15, 07:59:00 PM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

wot iz ^ Big T ? :0)

Is “IM speak” limited to ‘English’ – or is it a universal thing? In Chinese, or Farsi, or whatever you speak natively

I am from Brazil, where we speak Portuguese, and live in Germantown, MD. The long distance calls are still expensive so the cheapest way to keep in touch with friends down in Brazil is trough email and MSN Messenger. I will be honest sometimes I give up and just call them because I just can't understand whatever they are trying to tell me. And guess what ? Due to IM Speak, their ability to write correct and clear Portuguese has decreased. To make it worse, now they are mixing Portuguese IM Speak with English IM Speak because they think it's cool so I have to first figure out whether it’s an English word or Portuguese and then translate it.
When I thought I was starting to fit in because I could read most of the lingo, the new MSN 6 (now in 7.5) came out and hell broke loose. Now, not only I have to decipher lingo but also decipher smiling faces that represent some word by the action it is performing on the screen. For example, instead of writing OK they send me a smile face that jumps up and down with its thumb up. OK is an easy one. The worst is that if you are typing some word and it matches some smile face, it becomes the smile face and whatever letters are left. For example, if you write: "Hold on, I am typing some code now." becomes One smiling face with a stop sign, I am one smiling face typing in a type writer + ing some code one smiling face pointing to its watch .
My dialog boxes look like a bad pop up ad.

I found a site that will take normal text and turn it into this “IM speak”. Now I’m looking for the site that does the opposite.

check this out

And the bad part is that people, the “im speakers”, don’t realize that the whole point of communication is to send a message through a channel to a receiver that can understand the message. What ends up happening is that the receiver doesn’t get message as the sender intended to, look what happened the other day on AskTom because of a LLY which means similarly as per the writer.

I c aL U l8r

PS. Forgive for the "What's up big T" and for the "I see you all later" just thought it is within the context, I swear it won’t happen again. By the way, I love your topics that are not related to Oracle/programming.

Sun Jan 15, 08:32:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anthony Wilson said....

I couldn't agree more. Often the first contact you will have with somebody is through written communication, so you'd better make sure it leaves a good impression.

Writing a CV using TXT speak... priceless.

Call me a snob, but whenever I receive a message contains IM-speak (or a lot of spelling errors) I immediately have a negative impression of the other person's intelligence. More leeway is required for non-native English speakers, of course, but for anybody brought up in an English speaking nation there is really no excuse.

And specifically in the IT industry, if someone can't pay enough attention to their own writings to make sure the spelling and grammar are passable, you have to wonder about their attention to detail in other areas...

Sun Jan 15, 10:24:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anthony Wilson said....

...and of course, in the middle of my grammar rant, I left a word out of my post :-)

Sun Jan 15, 10:27:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

We have IM speak in Norwegian as well, but it has gotten a bit better since mobile phones got T9. Multitapping IM-speak is probably more time consuming now than writing full words. Interestingly, IM speak did not arrive with the mobile phones. I clearly remember it being used when chatting on BBS-es before the Internet arrived.

Mon Jan 16, 02:26:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

> The US has been relatively late to embrace text messaging

This is because in America, cell phone minutes are very cheap. Most people would rather call than write a text message.

In Germany, it cost almost 30 cents a minute to call TO OR FROM my cell phone. People here are pretty excited when they get 100 free minutes a month with a new 2+ year contract.

-LC

Mon Jan 16, 03:08:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Andrew O'Malley said....

You could always respond in Kenny Speak! As it's just as understandable...
http://www.namesuppressed.com/kenny/

Mon Jan 16, 03:26:00 AM EST  

Blogger Roderick said....

You may be able to trace IM Speak back to the days of telegraph.
And there was a contest last May between an old telegraph guy writing full text and a teenage SMSer using all the short hand tricks she could think of.
I've found IM speak annoying even back when I dialed into Compuserve forums with a 110 baud acoustic modem. Even worse when the message is also all caps with mixed fonts and colors like a ransom note. Then I start picturing the sender dressed like Prince or whatever symbol he goes by these days complete painted on mole, and I start feeling very nauseated.

Mon Jan 16, 04:32:00 AM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Italy too is hit.

It's always intended as "juvenile jargoon", a way for the youngs to distinguish from the elders, and build "group spirit".

I don't find it so offending - when a young uses IM speak when talking with me, it means that S/He considers me a "member of the group" - a young as well in a manner - which is good of course.

Mon Jan 16, 04:47:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kim Nørby Andersen said....

I'm quite afraid it's universal - happens in danish too.

Any ranting doesn't help - it only increases the incitement to brew up new "abbrevations"...

Mon Jan 16, 05:02:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Kamus said....

Is “IM speak” limited to ‘English’ – or is it a universal thing?

I'm from China. Yes, we did. for exsample, when you want to say goodbye to other one, you may use "88" in IM, coz its pronunciation sounds the same as "byebye" (of course, in Chinese).

But, I'll never use it in a formal situation, just in IM or some BBS or some games.

Mon Jan 16, 05:14:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

To Gleisson:

In MSN Messenger you can turn off custom emoticons so it just srites text. That way peoples annoying habits of using pictures for words stops happening

Mon Jan 16, 05:32:00 AM EST  

Blogger Niall said....

Gleisson Henrique said....
Check this out


I did. Unfortunately it doesn't even translate the examples on the explanatory page. I don't think they read the test rants..

Niall

Mon Jan 16, 06:52:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Krous said....

Heh. With everyone so far agreeing with Tom, I would say the average age of the group is definitely above 30s -- talk about generation gap ^_^ !
Now myself being 23+ with about 3 years experience in Oracle consider myself to be comfortable with IM Speak. What I can't handle is Leet speak ...

PHr3Ku3N7ly H4s|{3d K0o£St330nZ!

translate that anyone for 10 points!

Mon Jan 16, 08:19:00 AM EST  

Blogger Roderick said....

I assume it would be considered cheating to query google with that string?

Word Verification: nxacozxu
Looks like something in IM Speak - No kissing cousins, you?

Mon Jan 16, 08:38:00 AM EST  

Blogger Gleisson Henrique said....

Heh. With everyone so far agreeing with Tom, I would say the average age of the group is definitely above 30s -- talk about generation gap ^_^ !
I am 25 and I hate IM Speak ! ! !

PHr3Ku3N7ly H4s|{3d K0o£St330nZ!
I think it translates to "Frequent Asked Question". This is at least interesting. It's called Leet.

Gotta love Google and Wikipedia.

Mon Jan 16, 09:34:00 AM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

QIO?

(Translation: How many init.ora parameters do you have. A reply of the form QIO 298/15 means "298, and I know what 15 of them do.")

Mon Jan 16, 09:39:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

joel garry said...

I went to that link about QIO (Quick IO from veritas right :)...

There they had QNB - which reminded me of this thread.

there the poster wrote:

...
3. 120 mins if we use forall (NB we are not using LIMIT in our bulk collect )
.......


I have no clue what NB could mean there - I asked but haven't heard back.

Tried the "transl8it" site above, it says "nb in lingo means nb in text"...

Mon Jan 16, 09:53:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Nelson Franco said....

NB.

An abbreviation for the Latin phrase nota bene, meaning “note well.” It is used to emphasize an important point.

Mon Jan 16, 10:09:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Jakub said....

Is “IM speak” limited to ‘English’ – or is it a universal thing?

In Czech "IM speak" is usually used by teenagers. I know only very very few adults using it.
The question is: Will they (today's teenagers) ever end with it? (I mean when they'll grow up)

(Note: Czech republic is a small country in the middle Europe. :o))

Mon Jan 16, 11:25:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Dave said....

In UK English at least, NB is 'proper' english, used in the same vain as e.g i.e, etc

Abbreviated Latin words which are now just common English (for us anyway)

Mon Jan 16, 11:34:00 AM EST  

Blogger gilf said....

"nota bene"

I think that adds a relevant point, whats the cut off for IM speak? Should we be using the full latin versions?

Mon Jan 16, 11:47:00 AM EST  

Blogger jimk said....

I had a boss a few jobs ago that would type emails in all lower case without punctuation. AAARRGGHH!!! That is very annoying to even try to read. His excuse was that he wasn't technical and it took too much of his time to "format". Geez, it isn't a technical problem it is a 2nd grade grammer problem!

Then I had a person in another group who typed all small. He did put in periods. His excuse was that sinc e.e cummings wrote all small then... That is fine for published poetry, but not for business communications.

Just as bad as the IM "talk".

Mon Jan 16, 12:32:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

How about geek "grammer"? I would imagine that most, if not all, who know you are people. People are referred to by the pronouns "who" and "whom", not "that"... Most of the people THAT know me...

Mon Jan 16, 01:25:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

How about geek "grammer"?

And that is precisely why I have editors for the books....

I've updated the lead sentence, thanks.

Mon Jan 16, 01:37:00 PM EST  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

What about IMHO, BTW, AFAIK, YMMV ... that is, good ole Usenet abbreviations ?

Good or evil ? ;)

Mon Jan 16, 01:58:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

What about IMHO, BTW, AFAIK, YMMV

based on the number of times I've heard "what does .... mean" - I'd classify them as not productive.

I've taken to spelling out acronyms the first time on a page, eg:

... When using locally managed tablespaces (LMTs) you ......

Same with ASM, ASSM, MSSM (made up one, but since we have ASSM), LMT, DMT, and so on....

Acronyms and Abbreviations imply a familiarity that the reader may well not have. So, I avoid them all.

Mon Jan 16, 02:06:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I would just like to point out that "IM speak" really is helpful when you are "texting" someone using a tiny triple-tap phone keyboard. I found when I lived in Québec that they had some neat ones, including GHT = "j'ai acheté" (French speakers will get that).

Mon Jan 16, 02:10:00 PM EST  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Tom Kyte said
There they had QNB - which reminded me of this thread.


And in that same thread, you say

<quote src=Effective Oracle by Design>

HTML-speak! :-)

I also wondered what NB actually meant, though somehow I abstracted its meaning from context.

Mon Jan 16, 04:01:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

"Acronyms and Abbreviations imply a familiarity that the reader may well not have. So, I avoid them all."

Isn't it all about your audience? When I talk to my collegues, abbrevations like GC (Garbage Collector), AM (Application Module) etc. are frequently to be found in my TCP packets. This "common language" is both powerful a fast.

In Europe, IM-speak is less common but the variant "SMS-speak" is widely used, seeing as it is cumbersome to write whole words on some mobile phone interfaces.

Nonetheless, I have no clue why people would use IM/SMS-speak in any official public domains!

Thu Jan 19, 09:47:00 AM EST  

Blogger Laurent Schneider said....

I will not use AFAIK, IMHO, OMGWTFBBQ on asktom site, because we know tom does not like it, but I use them on other forums.

About NB (Nota Bene), PS (Post Scriptum), ie (id est), etc (et caetera), they are perfectly correct and not related to IM slang.

Anyway, I am happy that tom does uses emoticons, which are typically IM speak ;-)

Mon Jan 23, 04:08:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Ars Technica take on IM Speak... interesting!
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060801-7395.html

Tue Aug 01, 05:59:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Itamar Ben-Amos said....

That translator into IM speak isnt worth its weight in salt, be it cyber or real. when i go online to speak with my friends i use the IM speak because it makes chat so much easier for me and allows me to talk with my friends even faster than i usually do. That IM speak that you wrote isnt even proper IM speak!

Thu Apr 12, 08:42:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I only use IM speak when i'm on things like aim and stuff, but even than i only use the basic things like "lol" or "brb" and stuff like that. Sometimes though when a friend is talking to me i'm like what the heck are you trying to say? Every so often i'll catch myself putting a "u" instead of "you"... but besides that to me it's okay. People just need to know when it is right to use proper english, and IM talk.

Thu Apr 12, 08:44:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

You are not writing in IM speak. I have a cell phone. computer, use AIM everyday and what you say above is not right. Using such things as "taht" is a complelty mis interpretation of what we do. We try to make everything easier for us not switch letters around, that is just a mistake, later in the IM you will see that* to show we do know how to spell. You should have gotten a real kid to write it not a website. Like in Spanish the translator NEVER works correctly. So yea
ttyl (talk to you later)

Thu Apr 12, 08:48:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Moriah Taylor said....

That is not the way that IM speak is used at all. It is just a simple way to make it easier for us to type. You also limit it as if it is only teenagers, but some adults do it as well. You would probably get just as frustrated if you were send mail in French. It’s not that the language is bad, it’s that you do not understand it. There is a time where it is not appropriate to write like you would in IM but it is fine if you keep IM speak separate from formal writing. By the way your example of IM speaks is complete blown out of proportion. I am a user of IM speak and I could not comprehend what you were saying.

Thu Apr 12, 08:48:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hello Mr.Kyte i think that "IM Speak"
is only to be to save money on text messages. Any other time I personally
just write regular English.

Thu Apr 12, 08:50:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous leah said....

Hello, my name is leah IM speak is just a way to communicate faster with 1 anotha bcuz sumtime you dnt have enough time 2 rite all that u want 2 say and that is the fastest way of writin. It's not a bad thing it is just a fatser way of communicating

Thu Apr 12, 08:50:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi my name is Naima Holland and I am a student and, I am a user of this IM speak that you speak of and i don't see a problem with it. I know how to write a full paper without using IM speak. I don't really understand why its a problem with adults you guys just need to get over it we speak the way we speak >:-O

IM SPEAK:
i am a user of dis IM speak dat u speak of nd i dont c a problem wit it. inno how to rite a ful paper without using IM speak. i dont realli understand y its a problem wit adults u guyz jus need to chill and get over it we speak how we speak >:-O

Thu Apr 12, 08:51:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

First of all why do you always use the"3" for a "e".
Like no one really does that. And spell out your words. Its really not that hard man. Its really annoying to see all that because its really not like that "cool" or like no one really does that. Just spell out your words like normal. Its really not this nessesory to type like that. How about: lmao,hahaha,jk,brb?

Thu Apr 12, 08:52:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi my name is Naima Holland and I am a student and, I am a user of this IM speak that you speak of and i don't see a problem with it. I know how to write a full paper without using IM speak. I don't really understand why its a problem with adults you guys just need to get over it we speak the way we speak >:-O

IM SPEAK:
i am a user of dis IM speak dat u speak of nd i dont c a problem wit it. inno how to rite a ful paper without using IM speak. i dont realli understand y its a problem wit adults u guyz jus need to chill and get over it we speak how we speak >:-O

Thu Apr 12, 08:52:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

"IM speak"

In your blog you posted words that you put into an IM Speak translater. I would just like to let you know that not everyone acually follows that form of writeing while IMing. When I go on ichat i do use some form if IM speak because its just easier to typ when you want to talk with some one because its supposed to be "Instant". So to cut down typing time if you're not as fast a typer like myself then IM Speak can help with a conversation. also I am a terrible speller and IM Speak helps me not to think as much when im talking online. However, when I am in school and writing in englash class or history or any other class I return to formal languege because I know that IM Speak is not acceptable.
Also that translater is not right.
"ANYON3 TAHT KNOWS ME KNOWS TAHT ONE PAT PEVE OF MIEN IS WUT I CAL “IM SP3AK”!!11111! LOL WHAN SOMEONE US3S TEH ABR3VIATIONS U MIGHT USE ON A T3XT MESAEG ON UR PHONE 2 CONV3Y INFORMATION IN A FORUM EMALE OR ANY PROFESIONAL COMUNICATION!111!11! OMG WTF LOL" most people dont put 3's in place of e's. thats just stupid. why type a 3 when you could just as easily type an e and not confuse people. "TAHT" is most likly just a mistake when most people write on IM. words like your turned into ur is just so it goes faster. no one says "wut", no one says "whan".

I hope this was helpful to you and your knowledge of IM Speak.
TTFN(ta ta for now)
B)
~Olivia Billbrough
Science Leadership Acadamy
Philadelphia PA

Thu Apr 12, 08:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I know how "IM speak" is sometimes hard to understand and that it really effects how some people write or use it in important letters but that is used mainly from the people who go on instant messaging places to much. I have to say that I just started to learn how use computers and how to start IMing but I already have learned ho to write and understand the IM language used today and I hate to say it but the IM translator is a little out of date because it has IM translations that we use totally different than what the translator made it look like.

Thu Apr 12, 08:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Dakota said....

IM Speak is nothing wrong i think all this attention toward it is unessicary. Students just need to realize that when your writing a formal type document then they need to turn off the IM speak and type/write properly. Besides that then there is nothing wrong with IM speak it is and easier/faster way to communicate with your friends.

(IM speak iz nothin wrong i think all dis atention 2ward it iz unnessicary., studnts jus need 2 realze dat wen u r writin a formal type doc den dey need 2 turn off da IM speak n type.write wit IM speak it iz n easier/faster way 2 communicate wit ur frnds)

:)

Thu Apr 12, 08:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

First off I would like to say that the example of "IM Speak" was over exaggerated. As part of the "IMers" i can say yes we say some things that were mentioned but I feel as though we are being made fun of because of the way that you over exaggerated everything. I have a cell phone and a computer and I use AIM everyday which means i would know. That is not the way we speak or as you might say sp3ak. NO ONE SAYS THAT!!!!

Thu Apr 12, 08:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I'm sorry to break the news to you, but "your" translation of "im" speak is not entirely correct. I can understand your point of how "im" speak is not professional, but you lied and exaggerated about the way im speak is used. I'm from the Caribbean and we speak creolese. If i should write the way that we speak back there, it would be way pass "im" speak. So yes i answer you question that im speak is english.

Thu Apr 12, 08:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Scott Thayres said....

Tom Kyte, not all the language that you portrayed in your blog is correct. There are many people who don't spell that like "taht" or the like "teh." Many of the people who write "IM" language still uses the english language when they type. Some people do not have the time to type out every word so they abbreviate the words so they don't waste time writing out words. When I instant message someone, I use the english language most of the time and only use "IM" language when I'm told something funny or told something that shocks me or makes me mad.

Thu Apr 12, 08:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Scott Thayres said....

Tom Kyte, not all the language that you portrayed in your blog is correct. There are many people who don't spell that like "taht" or the like "teh." Many of the people who write "IM" language still uses the english language when they type. Some people do not have the time to type out every word so they abbreviate the words so they don't waste time writing out words. When I instant message someone, I use the english language most of the time and only use "IM" language when I'm told something funny or told something that shocks me or makes me mad.

Thu Apr 12, 08:56:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Using a translator will not help you to understand the IM speak because it is incorrect. When I type to people that are not my peers I speak formal, I will use you instead of u. but when I am typing to a friend to on AIM or Yahoo I type in words like "wat" for what "cya" for see you and "ttyl" for talk to you later. Most people that are just beginning will make the mistake of using IM speak when in school or when they are writing for professional reasons. It is not everyone that uses IM speak that makes that kind of mistakes. IM is just a way of typing faster and quickly getting down what you want to say.

Thu Apr 12, 08:59:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Most all of the recent comments seem to be missing the point here.


The use of IM speak in professional communication (like a resume) is unacceptable and that is what this article was about.

Of course you might pick apart the hyperbole that is the "IM speak translator" - but it sort of makes the point.

If you guys eventually want to get a job in the professional community - you best be aware that we throw away resumes/cover letters and other 'professional' communications that include IM speak.

Thu Apr 12, 09:00:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

SLA Students- Josh.H

I agree with you that maybe today people are using "IM language" as a daily language in conversations, But you also need to remember something. "IM language started because of people who could not type fastly using the keyboard on computers. That is how the language was developed.

What I know for sure is that this issue depends on the person themself. Some people are gullible enough to use "IM language" as a formal language. As for myself, I go online and chat during my spare time. and I use a lot of "IM language" when chatting, but I never use "IM language" in any kind of writing except for chatting.

I would also like to answer your question whether if "IM language" is a unversal thing in this world. In other country, they have millions of words in IM language. In my country, Indonesian teens today use those IM language but never in writings. It depends on the level of maturity of the person themself.

With this issue, we shouldn't worry that much because other country have much further advanced technology than we Americans do. And what we are facing right now is not a huge deal compared to other place in the world.

One more thing- "ANYON3 TAHT KNOWS ME KNOWS TAHT ONE PAT PEVE OF MIEN IS WUT I CAL “IM SP3AK”!!11111! LOL WHAN SOMEONE US3S TEH ABR3VIATIONS U MIGHT USE ON A T3XT MESAEG ON UR PHONE 2 CONV3Y INFORMATION IN A FORUM EMALE OR ANY PROFESIONAL COMUNICATION!111!11! OMG WTF LOL"

This is not a correct IM language: "ANY1 DAT NOES ME NOES DAT 1 PET PEVE OF MINE IS WAT I CALL "IM SPEAK" LOL...WHEN SUM1 USES DA ABREVIATION U MIGHT USE ON A TEXT MESSG ON UR FONE 2 CONVEY INFORMAL IN A FORUM EMAIL OR ANY PROFFL COMM!! OMG...WTF...LOL..!!"

Up here is my version of IM language. No one uses the number 3 in anyon3...it's any1!!! Your version of IM language is incorrect. No one writes the word "abreviation" using 3 for the letter e. We usually just write the words.

- 9th Grade Students of S.L.A., Philadelphia

Thu Apr 12, 09:06:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Chris Lehmann said....

Mr. Kyte,

I think that the students who have written in completely understand your point about the use of standard English in professional communication. What is a shame is that you did not acknowledge their point about how and why and when they *do* choose to use this language.

After all, this is all about communication.

Thu Apr 12, 11:21:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Chris - it is all well and find to use IM speak in - well - IM's and texting on the phone (I said as much in the opening - that this is the stuff of texting and instant messaging).

I was writing about other forms of communication - emails, forums, resumes, cover letters, etc.

Sure, use IM speak - in IM, texting. But don't use it for other forms of written communication - not unless you want the recipient to assume you are 11 years old... And treat you as such.

Thu Apr 12, 12:34:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I think that your "IM speak" is very wrong. All you did is misspell words but that isn't even what most people do. Not very many people say "tH3y" I think that the way you said it is really off and inaccurate. Also you said nothing about why people use "IM speak". I just think that this blog needs some reconsidering.

Fri Apr 13, 09:49:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I do agree that IM speak is annoying, but you mainly just typed words misspelled. I understand why you don't like the IM speak for when someone is sending you an email, but sometimes ther is just a typo and not specifically IM talk. I, personally am traning myself to no longer type in IM speak, and it is working for me. I think that there is a difference in using numbers in place of letters, which i don't think is IM speak, but it just is to make it look "cool." You also are one that apparently doesn't normally speak in IM because your IM talk isn't correct.

Fri Apr 13, 09:50:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I think that it doesnt matter how you write for personal things. Like it depends what kind of business you have and what you're dealing with. If yuor just talking to friends and doing wutevr. Then fine. But it you're writing a a formal than, yes you need to write correctly. Personaly, I think it's fine as long as you know the limits.

Fri Apr 13, 09:50:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous SLA Student-Victoria said....

I agree with you, "IM Speak" is informal and if you are trying to achieve something professional then you should know the English language instead of using abbreviations. Personally, whenever I IM or email someone I spell out the entire word with an occasional "shortcut." I think that perhaps this talk would be okay, but when people start to confuse IM speak with the actual spelling then they probably need to stop writing in IM speak.

Fri Apr 13, 09:51:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I agree that "IM speak" is inappropriately used in places but I think that you have gotten "l33t speak" and "IM speak" confused. Where you put "anyon3" the use of the three is not "IM speak". Also, in your example of "IM speak" you just mostly spell things wrong. I agree with you on the fact that "IM speak" is inappropriate, but I think that your version of "IM speak" is a little blurred.

Fri Apr 13, 09:51:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous savethepiesfromterrorrism@yahoo.com said....

I thnk that being able to use aim speak D-pnds on the situation. Although, with yunger kids in middle skool, it may b a difrent story. They may look at aim speak as a difrent language that may not be restricted by the unritten rules of formality (the difference between teachers & friends)
- savethepiesfromterrorrism@yahoo.com

Fri Apr 13, 09:51:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I think that IM speak should be embraced but there is a right place for certain things. When your with your friends you can talk anyway you want, but when your in a professional work place you should know how you should talk.I wouldn't want to hire anyone that says "they like 2 cook 4 a livin".

Fri Apr 13, 09:51:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

anonymous,
What I think its not that your really using 'IM" I think that your just spelling things wrong and putting things in the wrong place and I agree with you when you said that you would throw the resume I agree but do you ever think that you will need somebody in the future that you will need somebody to do this ?

Fri Apr 13, 09:53:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Marcie T. Hull said....

I strongly disagree with the portraying of "IM speak" displayed at the beginning of the blog. The writer just spelled words wrong and used 1's and 3's. They spelled the word that wrong thinking it was how kids do it. Most kids know that "IM speak" is inappropriate but others can't help themselves. I personally think its relatively easy to type/write correctly although I normally write using "IM speak". I do agree with the fact that he has a problem with "IM speak" being used formally i also think that it is irritating and i would react the same way he does when he receives resumes using it. But otherwise "IM speak" is not a bad thing unless used irrationally.

Fri Apr 13, 09:54:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Samuel said....

I don't think this is a universal concept. It's only available to those who do have a computer, and let their lives be ruled by a world that is fast paced and needs to be abbreviated. That is pretty funny. And no I do not use "IM Speak" in my daily life. Only as a joke with my friends. Haha.

Fri Apr 13, 09:54:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

First off I completely agree with your article, and think that IM speak should be saved for IM's and text messages. However I would just like to point out that your IM speak was simply misspelling the words and replacing the E's with 3's. Replacing letters with number is Elite Speak or "1337". Here is an example of 1337:

l-l3¥ l)l_ll)3 Wl-l475 l_lP? 7l-li5 i5 M¥ 3X4MP13 0l= 1337 5P34l<

Just pointing this out, otherwise I agree with your article completely.

Fri Apr 13, 09:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Well I think that that way you used your IM speak was wrong. Like the thing that you used was like Leak speak, and that is something different then what real IM speak. Also what you did was just replace the E's with 3's and spell everything wrong. The only thing you used that was IM speak was "Lol" and "WTF". everything was just wrong. I don't mean to insult you but I'm just saing that it's not right.

Fri Apr 13, 09:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Jerome McLeod said....

I have to agree with you; I have a problem with people excessively using IM-Speak in daily language. However, with it developing it has its Pros and Cons, and it should be considered, but not over traditional English language. It may be informal but it still gets the point across. This may be an example of the presidented way for America to reject new ideas and things (for lack of a better word right now) that youth use.

Fri Apr 13, 09:56:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

IM SPEAK can really save time but people need to know when and where not to use IM speak. I personally use IM SPEAK every once and a while. Sometimes in school I want I use IM SPEAK but i don't because I know that it wouldn't make my teachers very happy and I wouldn't be looked at as a smart child. but more like someone who made need help in grammar. when I obviously don't.

Fri Apr 13, 09:57:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Jesse said....

I dislike IM speak also. Almost all of my friends use IM speak, and it's not appropriate. They talk to me outloud, and use it. Every kid in my school has a computer, with ichat (AIM, Adium, etc.), and I've seen most of my colleagues have a lot of trouble with using IM speak in their school work.

Fri Apr 13, 09:57:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hello,


I had to read this blog about Internet speak (IM)
7/-/i5 i5 1337 5p34|<
(This is eilte speak)

ALL YOU DID WAS Spelled WORD INCORRECTLY. IN IM's there are typos and misspellings but that is what happens when you type fast. You are a NOOB (newbie)

Obviously other languages have used this type of chat. I use this chat and I know the difference between the two.

I agree with you point of view that people shouldn’t write in this language, but in some cases this is how people talk, or learn how to talk. They should create a chart/wake that can help with this problem.... Then again we have Spelling and grammar check in MS Word.

Science Leadership Academy student
Nick h.
Raw ful

Fri Apr 13, 09:58:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Well I think that that way you used your IM speak was wrong. Like the thing that you used was like Leak speak, and that is something different then what real IM speak. Also what you did was just replace the E's with 3's and spell everything wrong. The only thing you used that was IM speak was "Lol" and "WTF". everything was just wrong. I don't mean to insult you but I'm just saing that it's not right.

Fri Apr 13, 09:58:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Well I think that that way you used your IM speak was wrong. Like the thing that you used was like Leak speak, and that is something different then what real IM speak. Also what you did was just replace the E's with 3's and spell everything wrong. The only thing you used that was IM speak was "Lol" and "WTF". everything was just wrong. I don't mean to insult you but I'm just saing that it's not right.

Fri Apr 13, 09:58:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I believe that "IM Speak" is okay, for the simple fact that "IM Speak" is, in some way, another language. Teachers want students to be able to speak another lanugage and thats what "IM Speak" is. This is where the problem comes in, because the administration isn't teaching us, and they feel as though in some way we are taking their power, they don't want us to use it

Fri Apr 13, 10:04:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Marcie T. Hull said....

Dear Mr. Kyte,

I apologize for the previous comment in my name. I had a student using my classroom computer and unfortunately I was logged in to my google account.

I would also like to thank you very much for engaging us in this debate about IM speak. I am a teacher from Philadelphia, PA in a school called Science Leadership Academy.

I was curious to know what the 9th graders that attend this school think about the IM speak debate.

Along with exposing them to the debate though websites, articles and blogs, I thought it was important to engage them in the read-write web. Having them realize their ability to start their participation. The technology students at SLA will all be posting their thoughts and ideas about this debate on their blogs - www.sciencleadership.org/drupal

Again, thank you and sorry for the confusion!

Fri Apr 13, 10:56:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Christo Kutrovsky said....

I never understood languages where you do not write what you hear. What is the point to add letters that you simply ignore when reading back the word.

English is not as bad compared to French for example. I do not know other languages, so can't say too much about others.

What happens with this so called "IM speak" is people find more efficient way of writing words. It's popular by young generation because they adapt faster and dont have so much value of "proper" writing. And the reason why I put proper in quotes is because it is relative.

For Tom "ppl" is unacceptable in official documents. He sees it as lazyness or "incompatible" communication.

Eventualy, when the current generation grows up, it will slowly become more acceptable.

Of course, there's always the cool and funny factor. And it's easy to get used to.

Rewriting how English is spelled is not likelly to happen. But the same way new words are added, the same way new spelling will be added and slowly become acceptable.


if U can understand dis n it maks me wrt fster, then y not?

In my opinion, the key is not to get too far in trying to be efficient in writing. It must not take more time to read something, then it took to write it :)

Fri Apr 13, 11:44:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

... if U can understand dis n it maks me wrt fster, then y not? ...

because it took me three reads to actually read it.

And I seriously doubt it makes you write any faster on a standard keyboard. Maybe on an OLD phone with the 12 keys, but not even so today. With the "intelligent, we know what you are typing" algorithms - using proper english is much faster than IM speak on them even! When you had to do a triple tap to get the letter O and a double tap to get U, maybe the triple tap to get the Y by itself was faster - but today - it takes the same three keystrokes to get the word YOU written on a phone as it did the letter Y...

ppl - wonder which one you meant us to understand it as? this shows there are a lot of possible uses. Probably, you meant people for ppl (internet slang as it is referred to on that page).

It comes back to (for me) this - in professional communication, that includes emails, forum postings, blog entries, school work, and so on - this IM speak isn't appropriate. Communication is hard enough without making stuff up.

Fri Apr 13, 11:53:00 AM EDT  

Blogger EscVector said....

My Horoscope in IMSpeak

yor fRnds o co-workers mite not agrE w yor philosophy nw, bt U arent wiLN 2 chAng yor core valUz jst 4 d sake of expediency. dun b Afrd 2 ask 4 exactly wot U nEd, evN f U R Afrd of wot othRz wiL tink.

Fri Apr 13, 03:24:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Andrew said....

What's old is new again.
.
IM speak is nothing new. The syntax may be different to suit the medium, but the whole concept is quite old. Do a wikipedia search for "Telegraphese". Now there is message compression. Single words to mean whole phrazes. Some words forms from telegrahpese are still with us today. The suffix 'wise' comes from some forms of telegraphese. For example, saleswise... instead of saying 'regarding our sales figures...' Also note that to some extent, telegraphese was also used in spoken communication over the telephone when long distance rates were very high -- pre fiber optics.

Then we come to internet bulletin boards and news groups. That is from where we get emoticons and appbeviations like ROLF, IMHO, IIRC.

So, IM speak will be around for a while and then drift away into the dusty history of electronic communication. As Tom said a bit earlier, telephones and telephone keyboards are advancing and IM speak is becoming a bit unnecessary already.

Just remember the important concept -- your medium should be appropriate for the message. IM speak/shorthand for chatting w/firends and associates. Complete and proper language grammer for business, school, and published communications.

Fri Apr 13, 04:55:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Chi Hoang said....

Whew! I just finished reading all the new comments :)

I think one thing missing from the understanding of the original post is that more and more, we see professional communication that includes IM speak. The students at SLA might have the right mindset to separate appropriate and inappropriate situations to use IM speak, but there are people who can't. I think the post was targeted at those people who can't.

My personal opinion: I avoid using IM speak, so I don't mix up the use in different channels.

Fri Apr 13, 05:00:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

... we see professional communication that includes IM ..

sorry - but I disagree.

When I see communication with IM speak, I know it cannot be professional.

got a resume with a cover letter not long ago. It was unsolicited, but a formal resume none the less (they were serious). The resume and cover letter used “IM speak”!

that is from the original post - that resume, it found its way straight into the recycle bin. The author could not have been serious!

Fri Apr 13, 05:36:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous MetteMusen said....

Hi Tom

IM speak is also part of the Danish language. Since I am not in the educational system I dont know whether tey accept it in repots etc (But I hope that they dont).

We have a lot of immigrants from mulsim countries and they have delveloped a language variant of Danish (Perker Danish) which is like "yo fucker brormand, what's up yalla? A mixture of Danish and English - which sounds horrible. They try to be tough!

The IM speak is used in SMS and in chat. I have also seen it in debates on the net, and to me itis scary that people around 30 use it too !

Regards
Mette

Sat Apr 14, 01:48:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous RobH said....

Tom Said: When I see communication with IM speak, I know it cannot be professional.

And this is exactly true. Communication in business is more important now more than ever. Especially, as business becomes global and you have to deal with many languages, clear communication becomes more important than ever.

Technology has enabled us to communicate faster and wider than ever, however, "cheating" it with IM Speak, allows for more confusion and more problems (see: Palantir from Lord of the Rings). In the end, the tool used for communication, created more confusion, because either the picture was not clear what was being seen, it was a "partial" and incomplete perception.

Mon Apr 16, 11:56:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Phil said....

Tom,

I think this IM debate is related (though different from) the ALL CAPS DEBATE.

There's an interesting article at http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ctfonts/WordRecognition.aspx

which describes how people actually read. So long as the first letter is there, and the 'shape' of the word is right, the spelling doesn't matter.

IM speak changes the shape of the word, which is why those not used to reading it have a hard time understanding it...

ALL CAPS SPEAK has the same problem.

And, by extension, this is one aspect of what makes some fonts 'better' than other fonts...allegiance to the shape of the word.

I wish I could find the paragraph that made me realize how I actually read words...it was pretty amazing. Every single word in it was misspelled, apart from "I", "a", and other one and two letter words. Yet it read as quickly as the 'correct' version.

IM speak does my head in outside of the context of IM, and even within that context my working vocabulary is severely restricted (lol, rotfl, brb).

:-Phil

Tue Apr 17, 11:13:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

There is one thing that I'm surprised no one has pointed out. Whatever this giberrish is called, wait a minute, I think giberrish IS the exact literal definition for it, it is illiterate.

I aim this mostly at the teacher of "Science" (Good luck teaching quantum theory to illiterates by the way. Maybe they'll catch the symbols but I doubt they'll be able to keep up with the sheer speed of the words!) as you of all people should realize that gibberish is not a language, and again, is not literate.

It's for this reason that it is seen as unprofessional.

Sun Jul 01, 04:42:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

What a pompous arse! Get over yourself, M8.

Wed Nov 07, 10:29:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

What a pompous arse!

Brilliant, your command of the language and powers of persuasion are so astounding - I'm inclined to

well, not agree.

As you grow up and start attempting to apply for jobs, communicate in the business world and continue to use IM speak - well, good luck with that.

You'll go far... Tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

Thu Nov 08, 09:53:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kiran said....

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thu Nov 22, 12:28:00 AM EST  

Blogger Kiran said....

I am Kiran Aithal from Bangalore,India. In India the national language is Hindhi and we speak plenty of native langauge in different region. But no where we use IM-Speak in local language. But if we coming to English, we do speak good english with everyone understandable ascent. But almost all use IM-Speak in English while emailing friends, sending messages in mobile,chatting etc. People are addicted to this unknowngly. Mainly people use in mobile phone. Because to save the time and to shorten message lenght as GSM mobile allows 159 character per one message, if it crosses then it charges as second message. And even people don't have the patience to complete the word by typing it.

Thu Nov 22, 12:31:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Terje (the Digital Piano Man) Brooks said....

Dear ;
this phenomenon begins as i know as a need to abbreviate some words in SMS messages or other ;i can say that's a negative creation ;because that makes a distortion in the main language ;the risk when this phenomenon became global ; i think that language will be extinct ;after two or three generations with the use of this way we will not sea english language at all;i think that every group will invent it's language ; i don't want to imagine what will be then!

Wed Feb 20, 02:17:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I recently decided to broaden my horizons and decided to learn a new language; the question is what should I learn? I’ve asked a few friends and they were useless! Everyone was telling me something different, in the end I have decided to attempt to learn Japanese. I work in business and the power Japan and China has keeps growing and growing, so learning a bit of the language could be a massive help in my future career. Does anybody know of any reasonably priced but high-quality language learning software?

Wed Mar 12, 12:43:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Becker said....

I see this phraseology as just another skill set. Many professions have abbreviations and shortened forms for the purpose of efficient communication within their discipline. But that is where is should stop. I was in the position of hiring and review and I agree with Tom, if it had this type of text in it, the paper was in the trash. Shorthand (for all us old geezers) was once a prized skill, but the presentations and papers were not distributed in that format.

It shows me that the person does not understand the concept of widely-based communication. Even though it may be for the young, old, or techie, those people will get older and changes disciplines. They will wish for a common language, too.

How's that for an engineer harping on using proper language! I just don't get why communicating in your base language is perceived to be such a bother in a professional environment.

I'd go into how I'm insulted by people using the phone at the table, or in the restroom, but that's another blog! Laugh-out-loud

Tue Apr 13, 05:26:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

In Russian the same phenomenon is called "scumbags' language"

Thu Jun 10, 05:46:00 AM EDT  

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