I never used text messaging when I lived in American. That all changed when I moved here to the Philippines, the texting capital of the world. Now I can quickly type out text messages without even looking down at my phone.
I learned Tagalog during my first year here. This, of course, greatly enhanced my ability to communicate with others (verbally or through text messaging).
But there were always these cryptic text messages I never could quite figure out. I had to learn yet another “dialect”—a mixture of Tagalog and English with unique, abbreviated spelling.
I call it textolog (which, according to its own rules, could be spelled txtolog). It’s really just a joke, but my Filipino friends love this new word.
If you think about it, textolog is a fascinating phenomenon—a fusion of language, culture and technology.
Like any other language, textolog has its own rules—here they are:
Vowels are often deleted.
Example: Masarap (delicious) spelled msrp.
English words are spelled phonetically.
Example: people spelled pipol.
Some consonants can be used to replace multiple letters.
Example: ako (I) spelled aq.
Numbers replace letters if the numbers make a similar sound as the letters would when pronounced out loud.
Example: wait spelled w8; gusto (want/like) spelled gus2.
The number 2 can represent a repeating syllable, which is common in Tagalog.
Example: pupunta (go, future tense) is spelled pu2nta.
Some abbreviations are simply understood.
Example: girlfriend or boyfriend spelled gf/bf.
Letters are often capitalized in the middle of words for the sake of artistic flair. This is especially true in text forwards.
So, there you have it—textolog. Pass this post along—maybe we can make this word just as popular as taglish.
Just be sure to mention KUYAKEVIN.COM if you decide to copy/paste.
Some of you have commented on texting’s negative effect on spelling/grammar. I’m inclined to agree. I would encourage you to practice standard spelling/grammar when you blog, write emails, etc. Textolog is fine for the cell phone, but there’s really no need for it when you have a whole keyboard to use.
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