Thursday 24 October 2013

Texting in a relationship- The Hidden code

Friends, SMSing or texting as we know it, came to us with the advent of the digital era and the introduction of TDMA and CDMA technologies. Little did its founders know that it will soon develop into a code language of its own. Since it has the disadvantage of not being as expressive as a face-to-face conversation or a phone call, the users have developed intricate textual signals which convey the message, sometimes even more subtly than a live conversation.

Relationships too, are not untouched by the phenomenon. I think the credits to developing this language goes to couples who spend more time tapping the keyboard than anything else. Relationships thrive on conversations. We are all strangers programmed to treat each other with suspicion until we start talking. A couple is basically two strangers who talk a lot. Most of these talks happen in their minds. All the backspacing one does while typing a long expressive message is the actual conversation which remains unsaid. Unsaid doesn't necessarily mean unexpressed. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, friends- we all leave nothing unexpressed. Here's an attempt based on my tryst with the devil called 'texting' for understanding the hidden code behind those words-

1. The salutations.
'Sup?' might be the most common way of a guy to sound cool while trying to start a conversation with a girl. It is non-chalant, it was sort of cool when people first started it using. Now, it has been over-used yet, finds place in the vocabulary of 15 to 19 year old males with sparse moustaches and half-cracked pubescent voices.
Next comes the 'Hiiiiiii'. It's a 'Hi' suffixed with the amount of "i"s directly proportional to the cuteness being attempted by the sender. Other variants are "Hellooooooooooooo", Or "Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" or "Hellozzzzzzzzz". These used to be girly expressions but not anymore. The market forces of supply and demand have now made the extra vowels added at the end of salutations sort of mandatory. In few relationships, a simple "Hello" or a bland "Hi" represents that something is not right. It might also indicate the aftermath of a huge fight and may soon be followed by the dreaded "We need to talk."
There are also the foreign salutations like "Hola", "Aloha" etc which sound exotic. These are basically pretentious in origin and are used most commonly by guys who are trying to get laid.

2. Something is wrong.
When you tell your girlfriend something you did last night (party, night-out, texting with that random chic on FB etc) and her reply, after 5 minutes, comes as "Hmmm.. K". You have got to be an idiot to think that everything is "K". Sometimes even with the number of 'm's in the 'hmmm', you can estimate the number of sly comments that are going to come your way in the future.
I think 'K' is the most versatile character of the English alphabet in terms of its utility in texting. 'Hmm.. K' expresses dismay while 'Oh.. K' may express surprise or shock. 'Kk' is used to express affirmation while a plain 'K' is an emphatic conversation-killer. 'Okay' is used to express agreement while the same is expressed by girls using "okie-dokie" and sometimes just "okie". Lastly, 'Hmph.. K' is used to show exasperation and is sort of like saying "I give up, you win!"

3. The sign-offs.
Goodbyes are the hardest part in texting. A plain 'Bye' sounds more like "Goodbye forever! Good riddance!" A girl might just be using 'Bye' to show her indignance to your behaviour or might just be flirting- trying to see how restless you get when she starts to leave. If you read it wrong, you might end up infuriating her. And if she's the rare kind who uses 'Bye' for the meaning it was intended, and you keep talking, you might be viewed as a 'pile-on'.
A 'Bbye', 'Buh-bye', 'Byeeeeeeee' are politer ways of signing out. A smiley emoticon and sometimes three to four ones (as necessitated) are required before completing the sign out.
'TC' is another critical tool to express various meanings. When someone says 'tc' abruptly, they might not necessarily want you to 'take care' as much as you might imagine. 'Tc' is more of a semi-polite goodbye which when expanded, reads- "TAKE CARE of your own business, leave me alone".
Ok, it is a vast universe with ever-changing definitions and if I delve any deeper, I risk irretrievable damage to my actual language skills. So, I'd just stop here. Hope you learned something.

:) :) :)






K.. Bbyeeee! :*

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