Text Message Abbreviations Started With Telegrams

January 25, 2019By

I Hate Nothing About UAdults like to give kids a hard time when it comes to texting.

Kids are seemingly always abbreviating words. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what they’re saying.

But one thing you’ll realize is that adults are now abbreviating just as much as the kids.

The reason is that abbreviations save time. And if you can get someone to pretty much understand what you’re saying while saving time then you’re winning. That’s why people are doing it so much.

The funny thing to me is that this is nothing new.

I was just reading the biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Throughout the book there were transcripts from the digital communication of the day: telegrams. Sometimes called wires.

People back during the day of the telegram would abbreviate words all the time.

I don’t know if the telegram companies would charge by the character. My guess is that they did it for the same reason we do it today: speed. It’s just faster to abbreviate things.

And it’s not just names. They would certainly write “C. Vanderbilt” instead of “Cornelius Vanderbilt”. But they would also write “bk” instead of “back” and all kinds of things like that.

We place an incredible amount of value in time. If we can save time we will. So don’t get discouraged about abbreviations in text messages. It’s a good thing. It’s been going on for a long time. And it will continue no matter how we communicate in the future.