Tech slang makes the world more confusing

Hey, HGE 6HYE? (OK, we just made that up)
Hey, HGE 6HYE? (OK, we just made that up)

A study of slang terms has shown that a slew of tech-related terms is entering the public consciousness and are becoming part of every day speech.

The rise of the internet has led to terms like 404 meaning 'serious error' (from the 'Error 404 Page Not Found' message that has frustrated us all at one point or another.

The study, by lexicographer Jonathon Green, says that these terms - such as BTW and LOL ('by the way' and 'laugh out loud') - have emerged from the text culture of modern society.

"What we're seeing is the influence of technology coupled with current events and, inevitably of the young, who in many cases drive language," says Mr Green.

"It's focused on this world of mobile phones - these abbreviations are perfectly suited to those little screens."

Oyster slang

Another section of the study showed that Oyster Card error codes are apparently being used in everyday London speak as well... though TechRadar hopes we never meet anyone that ever uses one in conversation.

Apparently people, possibly called Nathan Barley, are now using the phrases Code 35 (not enough credit) to signify cash flow problems, and Code 11 (card out of date) to highlight someone who is behind the times... oh dear.

There's also been a study conducted by psychologist Nenagh Kemp at the University of Tasmania, that 'found' students could type faster using less letters (shocking) but also could not read the messages as quickly or easily compared to standard English (double shocking).

While the study might bring up and obvious point, Kemp only surveyed 55 students, who quite possibly were all struggling from a heavy night out.

However, it doesn't explain why forum users persist with using these terms when they have an entire keyboard at their disposal... a certain member of the TechRadar team thinks it's perfectly fine to use FTW (for the win) and LMAO (laugh my arse off) in many emails, as well as other terms that the rest of the team find completely baffling. EOM.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.