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Treo TXT Lingo: LernN 2 typ shorter & faster txt msgz

There is no doubt that I am a big fan of the speed, convenience and immediacy of SMS text messaging – particularly on my Treo (PalmOS) with its superb threaded chat-like interface and its built-in emoticons which really shine when the messaging is from Treo to Treo.

However, on my new Treo 700p the maximum number of characters is now limited to 160 this means that I’m always looking for ways to optimize my text entries with various abbreviations.

However my ‘txt lingo’ has been somewhat limited covering only a few basic dozen words such as: “before = b4”; “are = r” and “you = u”…  I therefore set out to find some resources that would allow me to refine my messaging vocabulary.

By far the best and most fun one that I found is called transL8it! which provides a quick ‘english to lingo’ and ‘lingo to english’ translation engine that will typically allow you to reduce the length of your text messages by 20% or more.

English: Hello Treonauts! If like me you have ever wondered about how much shorter you could make your text messages then the translation below will show you how this can be done ;-) (173 characters)

txt lingo: LO Treonauts! f lIk me U hav eva 1DrD bout how much shorter U c%d mAk yor txt msgz thN d transl8n bElO wiL shO U how DIS cn b dn ;-)  (134 characters)

Naturally what I _really_ would like to see is for either transL8it or another developer to provide the same type of translation engine directly on my Treo (integrated with the Messaging application) instead of having to go online via my PC or Blazer…

In the meantime, below here are a few more SMS language resources that will help you to perfect your own txt lingo:

SMS language [Wikipedia]
txt dictionary [Calgary Public Library]
List of Acronyms & Text Messaging Shorthand [netlingo]
SMS terms & glossary [Environmental Studies]

Treonauts r alwys l%kin 4 BetA & faster

Posted by Andrew on September 20, 2006 at 02:57 PM

Treo Software | SMS

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by Evan | Sep 20, 2006 3:16:14 PM

>>> LO Treonauts! f lIk me U hav eva 1DrD bout how much shorter U c%d mAk yor txt msgz thN d transl8n bElO wiL shO U how DIS cn b dn ;-)

If someone ever sends me a message like that, I would stop being their friend. It's revolting.

by Mike Hardy | Sep 20, 2006 3:47:17 PM

I have to agree with Evan's sentiment.

Pony up the extra 5 cents for a second message, and use English.



by Doug Boehme | Sep 20, 2006 4:01:19 PM

I spent significantly more time reading the 2nd message. I agree with Evan and would definitely have to get even with the weenie that sent me that garbage.

by andrew | Sep 20, 2006 4:02:01 PM

Evan - this message is actually pretty decent compared to others that I have seen which use an even more aggressive "text shorthand" to communicate... Obviously if there was a 'lingo to text' translation engine built on my Treo this would not be an issue.

You have to admit that it's pretty funny though. JM2C (Just my 2 cents).

Cheers, A.

by What's in a Name? | Sep 20, 2006 7:04:07 PM

This looks like what my middle school nephew sends his friends in class (had to confiscate his phone when his teacher called me). Now this 160 character issue. . .

I have had a 650 for a couple of years now (via Verizon) and I have always had 160 characters, max. Never more. Am I missing something? Is this a Verizon thing? I could never understand why my friend could send me longer txt's from his Motorola Razor than I could send him with my treo? And to add more detail, my girlfriend also has a 650 (via Sprint) and she gets 160 as well. Anyone else only get 160? Maybe I just read this post wrong. . .

by KKaw | Sep 20, 2006 10:51:45 PM

I'm using a GSM unlocked Treo650 with a Singapore Telco and my outgoing/incoming SMS messages can go way above the 160 character limit. I believe the Treo will send it as multiple SMSes (and I'll be charged accordingly) but that's OK with me.

by Fred | Sep 21, 2006 6:03:41 AM

My understanding (verified by years of use) is that GSM networks allow text messages of up to 160 characters, including spaces. Some SMS programs, like the Palm one, automatically start an additional message if more than 160 characters are used.
This is why I'm confused by your comment, Andrew, that you didn't have a limit of 160 until you got your 700P.

by Fred (again) | Sep 21, 2006 6:07:52 AM

How about this for an alternative translation instead of the one by txt lingo:

Hi Treonauts! Ever wondered how to make messages shorter? This translation shows how ;-) (88 characters)

by Geek | Sep 21, 2006 3:21:05 PM

It seems that I'm with the masses here - spend the extra few pennies and make it easier on your readers.

On the other hand - why can't someone come up with a tool that allows users to enter a text message, which gets shortened, and then users can run the same app on the other side and get the longer message?

by andrew | Sep 21, 2006 3:34:30 PM

Geek - I absolutely agree on the tool front!

Cheers, A.

by Mark | Sep 21, 2006 7:53:19 PM

I couldn't agree more. It took me longer to READ that ridiculous translation than it would to just type a 2nd message.

Fred summed it up best: learn how to express yourself more succinctly in plain English. And if you go over 160, type an ellipsis (ok, 3 consecutive periods), and continue in a 2nd message.

Having said that, I'm jealous of my friend in Atlanta whose text messages have no limit. (Possibly Cingular? I can't remember.) 160 characters is quite restrictive.

by Ed | Sep 26, 2006 3:26:34 AM

Verizon Treo 700P: As a test, I pasted 50 characters into my SMS message. The display at the top reads 50 characters. I pasted 3 more times and the description turned into 200 chars/2 msgs.

So the treo does in fact split up the message into multiple txt messages if it doesn't fit into 1 SMS.

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