Saturday, December 15, 2007


As a 38-year-old fogey, I've only begun to scratch the surface of SMS English, a phenomenon that sprung up around me like overactive elephant grass. The number of expressions to learn is daunting, and given how mentally slow I've gotten, there's simply no hope of catching up. How much less, then, do I understand the Korean and French versions of this linguistic phenomenon!

Still, I can take heart that the French Wikipedia has two very good articles about le français SMS or l'argot internet. This article is a list of current SMS/Net expressions; this article explores and analyzes le langage SMS.

NB: the title of this post, "ctb," is SMS French for "comme ta bite," or "(just) like your dick." According to the article, it's the reply you give when someone mentions that some X is small or insignificant.

"J'sais pas écrire en abrégé," my French maman said. I don't know how to write abbreviated French. Well... with expressions like "ctb" in abundance, maybe it's all for the better, hein?

The only two SMS/Net expressions I use with any frequency are "A+" (= à plus tard, or [until/see you] later) and "mdr" (= mort de rire, or roughly, dying of laughter), which is the French equivalent of LOL. As the article about le langage SMS notes, "LOL," an English expression, is frequently used in French communications. The article also offers the bizarre suggestion that, when written in lower case, "lol" may represent, among other things, a person whose legs are in the air and whose asshole (the article's term, not mine) is exposed.


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