Keedup Keywords in Txtese

Posted on 3/2/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (3)

New Zealand metadata specialist Keedup says txtese—or chatspeak, txtspk, txtk and numerous other slang abbreviations that denote the language used to compose text messages—is the language to keep in mind as the general population increasingly migrates routine tasks to mobile devices.

Keedup has begun offering txtese versions of its popular keywording vocabularies. According to chief executive Kevin Townsend, the seemingly unstoppable text language may be annoying—but largely to those older than 35. Townsend cautions keyworders and photolibraries: “[You] do not have the luxury of ignoring a form of English which has now crossed from the mobile phone into general language.”

The objective of txtese is to use the fewest number of characters needed to convey a comprehensible message. For Generation Y adults, who are using the Internet more and more, says Townsend, “gr8” for “great” or “bZ” for “busy” is as valid a form of communication as French or German.

While it is hard to quantify how many people use txtese to search the Internet or image libraries, Townsend—and U.S. researchers such as linguist David Crystal, who has authored a study on the cultural phenomena—estimates the numbers are in the 10% to 20% range. He also points out that the abbreviated language form is not entirely new; a variation thereof was first introduced by the telegraph.

Copyright © 2010 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


  • Bill Bachmann Posted Mar 3, 2010
    i hope u peeple that r usg gr8 wuds 2 find pics go somewheres else. put away yr text and write a real sentence!

    Grow up and write!

  • Sharon Mcdonnell Posted Mar 3, 2010
    I would be more convinced if I saw data showing that people were searching using these terms and thus, went away empty handed because they couldn't find what they wanted. That said, they are probably right, it may be yet another trend I wish would go away.

    sharon McDonnell

  • Sharon Mcdonnell Posted Mar 3, 2010
    Oh, Bill Bachman..... I had to print your post for my continued enjoyment. An art form really.

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