Hip kids create new mobile phone language

If you’re up for a drink this evening and wish to invite your best mate to join you, try sending him or her a text message with the words ‘Fancy a adds down the sub?’

They’re probably likely to think you’ve already had a few, but if they’re au fait with the latest form of text speak, they’ll know exactly what you mean.

A whole new language is developing among mobile phone-addicted teenagers. It’s based on the predictive text software built into their handsets, but instead of clicking through to enter the correct word, kids now just select the first option suggested to them, Reuters reports.

For example, ‘beer’ becomes ‘adds’, ‘pub’ becomes ‘sub’, ‘cool’ becomes ‘book’ and so on (and the writer of this article now goes under the name of ‘Bomb’).


Such replacement words – or ‘textonyms’ – are now commonplace in both SMS conversations as well as general chats among teens.

The new language is the latest example of kids' linguistic creations, something that’s been going on throughout history, according to David Crystal, a language expert at Bangor University in Wales.

"Everybody plays with language," he told Reuters. "Playing with language isn't new. It's absolutely normal for kids to experiment like this.

"And it's important to remind adults that they did exactly the same thing when they were kids, they just didn't do it on mobile phones."