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CT PIR: Understanding Internet Lingo

Last Updated: April 27, 2015

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by Kari Glemaker, National Director of iCare

19/m/ca watz ur n/a/s/l? snd m ur p# we can pRt! g2g4n

Cell phone texting is the main form of communication between teenagers and their friends. More than half of all teens send at least one text message a day and two thirds say they would rather text than call their friends. The typical teen sends 50 text messages a day, with older girls (ages 14-17 years old) averaging 100 or more per day.

This form of quick communication has created its own terms and expressions referred to “Netlingo.” The State Attorney General for Idaho has developed an Internet Lingo Dictionary (pdf) which provides parents, educators and families with an alphabetized list of netlingo acronyms and numerical codes. This lingo is used daily in texts, chatrooms, e-mail and social networking sites. Remember though, some tweens and teens may have their own lingo for use with their group of friends.

(Translation for lingo above—The title means “Can’t talk; parent in room,” and the next line means a 19-year-old male from California wants your name, age, sex and location. Send me your phone number, we can party, got to go for now.)

Action Steps

  • Review the Lingo Dictionary with your children and set clear expectations about what is considered appropriate “language”
  • Maintain the rule that language not allowed in the home is not acceptable online
  • Use and review periodically the Safe Use Agreement for all wireless technology
  • Reinforce your care and concern for your children and teens in their online world

With the fast-paced development of new technologies, the knowledge gap between children and their parents is widening. What you don’t know can hurt your kids.” – Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, State of Idaho.