Text messaging lingo
@ - at, around about
2 to, too
4EVER - forever
ADDY - address
BTW by the way
GAL get a life
GN good night
GR8 - great
IMS I am sorry
JK just kidding
LOL laugh out loud
MSG - message
NP no problem
OMG oh my God
SLAP sounds like a plan
SUP what's up?
U - you
XOXO hugs and kisses
The cell phone has become the Swiss Army knife of communication in our techno-society, and style sometimes trumps function.
"When the Chocolate came out, that was the new thing to have at school," said Kristin Toy, a senior at Steamboat Springs High School who owns a mint Chocolate by LG. "It's about what's new and what's the hottest thing when you get a new phone."
The Motorola KRZR and LG's "Black Sapphire" MG810 flip phone now top the list, Toy said.
These phones are used primarily during the school day for text messaging.
"You can communicate with your friends in every class," Toy said. "It's very convenient. It's easier than calling and leaving a message, or if you don't want to disturb someone."
There is an entire language of acronyms in the text messaging subculture, and texting has found its niche in the business world as well.
"It's become more used in business that I thought it would be," said contractor Erik Halverson. "It's used for everything from 'I'm running late,' to giving someone a 'heads up' before walking into a meeting."
Text messaging works because it is quick and easy.
"You don't have to wait for all the rings and listen to the person talk and then leave a message," Halverson said. "Sending a text is real quick, and you can e-mail someone if they are not into texting."
Halverson owns a Motorola Moto Q palm pilot phone and uses it to schedule meetings, research things on the Web, e-mail and, of course, make phone calls.
"The camera is pretty nice too," he said. "You can shoot a quick picture and send it through MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), e-mail or text messages."
His phone automatically syncs with his computer every couple of seconds and does a more extensive update every morning at 6 a.m., Halverson said.
"And I have Bluetooth, so I can use my ear piece and look like a dork," he said.
Having all of these features has spoiled Halverson, who said he could never regress in his personal cell phone technology.
"The trend is more and more going to doing more things than phone calls," said Scott Schnackenberg, manager of My Wireless. "The trend includes texting, e-mailing, listening to music and having data capabilities in the palm of your hand."
Cell phone ownership and usage spans all ages.
Although most of the staff at the Doak Walker Care Center own cell phones, only a few residents do.
"They are mostly provided by their families, and a lot of people have to have it very simple," said Joan Lucas, social service coordinator for Doak Walker. "It's hard for them to hear on the cell phone and the buttons are pretty small."
Those issues pose no problem for young children.
"I have a friend that has given a cell phone to their four-year-old daughter," Marchele McEntee said. "It's a kid's phone that only has four buttons on it that are programmed for mom, dad, her grandparents and their nanny. All she has to do is push one button and it dials them, so she doesn't have to know any phone numbers."
Schnackenberg has sold cell phones for children as young as 7 and 8 years old.
"It's a way for mom and dad to keep track of 'Johnny' with his phone," he said. "They track the phone with GPS (global positioning system)."
Technology continues to improve with the soon-to-be released iPhone by Apple, which offers a touch-controlled widescreen interface.
Older models of cell phones can be donated to programs like CALL to PROTECT.
"It has provided more than 36,000 wireless phones with airtime and nearly $2 million in funding to domestic violence preventions and services," said Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Phones can be brought to Advocates Against Battering and Abuse's office.
"We send them all our old cell phones and they send us TracFones and phone cards," said Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates. "Each card has 40 minutes and when they run out, we give our clients another card."
These phones are used primarily for the safety of clients who can't afford a personal cell phone.
"Some of our clients live in the country and with the isolation and traveling home 20 miles out in the county, if something should happen around safety, they would have a way to call for help," Moore said. "They can also use it to keep in touch with their children, and it helps them to make some new plans for the future."