For the record, I see the letters ‘DTXTR’ and I think Dexter. Because I’m ancient.
BlogHer asked me to review LG’s new service called DTXTR (detexter, for all you text-challenged people) and I jumped on the chance because really, I cannot read all that 2 and CUL8R stuff. I’ve actually posted things on Craigslist and refused to reply to anyone who couldn’t be bothered to type out “too.” Because I’m ancient.
The problem is that like it or not, that’s how kids write. If I want to intercept their emails from their friends understand the emails they send me, I’m going to have to learn to speak their language. Hell, if I’m going to understand what they say to me at the mall, I’m going to have to learn this. My 9 year old stood up to leave the dinner table the other night, turned to me and said, “Bee Are Bee” which was exactly as laborious as actually saying Be Right Back, but not nearly as cool I guess.
Say hello to Generation Text.
I asked my boys to send me a few texts and of course, they sent me stuff like, “Can I go 2 the store?” which even I can translate into, “Can I borrow $10?” This does not an interesting review make. So I called for reinforcements. I emailed my friend Janet for help, who has a 14 year old daughter who just so happened to be on a bus with 40 14 year olds on her way to a weekend long cheerleading tournament. THIS an interesting review makes.
Roo Girl and her friends agreed to hit me with their best shot and sent me this:
omg wtf u just totaly fml dont lol @ me its not supa kewl u gave away tmi so wont ttyl bubi
And then I twitched a little.
So I typed the whole thing in the box on the website, and it told me the definition wasn’t found. Which is a bummer. But then I typed the words in and translated them one by one and lo and behold…it almost read that whole text back to me. And told me that Roo Girl said What The F*** to her friend, so she’s grounded.
Still, I’d have liked it if I could type in more than one phrase at a time. Especially when she sent me this:
wats wit tht gurk shes prlly the biggestt dbag ive eva met i g2g dindin ily ttfn xox
And then my head exploded.
So one by one, I typed THOSE words into the box on the website. It thinks ‘wit’ means ‘wordsmith in training’, which is not only wrong but quite hilariously wrong. It didn’t pick up the words like ‘dbag’ and ‘tht’ which just had a letter or two dropped, but it did recognize ‘ily’ which I thought just meant Illy, as in ‘rad’, but really just means I Love You. It also caught ‘g2g’ which means ‘got to go’ and ‘ttfn’ which means ‘ta ta for now’. I should have figured those ones out on my own, I know, but I couldn’t. Because I’m ancient.
What’s nice is that if you find a text word that it doesn’t know, like ‘dbag’, you can add it to the library so some other lucky parent will be able to see that her kid thinks it’s acceptable to call someone a douchebag. It takes a village, people.
But then I realized that this isn’t just a tool to help me spy on my kids actively parent my children, it can help me in other, more crucial areas of my life. Other crucial areas being Twitter. I can’t be the only one who’s had to ask the collective consciousness what FTW means, or kthnxbai, or half the stuff people say on Twitter for that matter.
Rather than look like a noob in front of half the globe, I can just type ‘plzkthx’ in and get a translation in the privacy of my own home. Or I can type in ‘okay, thanks, bye!’ and it’s tell me how to write that the cool way. Because I’m ancient, but I don’t want you to know that.