World Youth Day 2008 took place in Australia, and the attendees got religious text messages on their mobiles. These switched the "you" for a "u" and so on. An article was published about how they were doing it to "speak their language", and quoting "experts" on how the message would be "seen as cool".
Another case of religious messages in texting format, was the following mind-meltingly bad church sign that went up in Pennsylvania.
Anti-abortion billboard spotted in Alabama: "god loves u girl and ur baby 2". What's especially odd is that "loves" and "and" are spelled out correctly.
One of the oldest is "This is a CH CH. What's missing? U R!" Though since it was (allegedly) spotted before text lingo took off, it may just be phonetic spelling.
If anybody has heard of any of the 20 Internet Acronyms Every Parent Should Know, please contact your local police station post-haste; they could definitely use you as a telepathic detective.
The updated list of 50 acronyms contains some real corkers. A/S/L is legit, as pointed out, along with J/O. As are 1337 and 420 (the latter a marijuana reference) but both are a little out of place in a list that seems to concern itself mainly with cybersex. The rest seem to be initialisms of quite arbitrary phrases, or else it's slang particular to an individual chat community. Apparently, banana means penis. And "kitty" means vagina, obviously a pun on "pussy". Using either is a good way to give your cybersex session that little something extra.
What? You mean, not that you're connecting via using HTTP via an ISP to a LAMP stack which is running a MMORPG descended from a MUD that liked to call itself a PBBG programmed with PHP and you're connecting to it from a *NIX PC which != M$note Query: Dual booting aside, can a *NIX PC ever be M$ these days? There used to be XENIX. after you've read the WSU about event at MIT hoping not to get a 404 reading UTF-8 rather than ASCII or ISO-8859 and the TLA increases as BOINC wants more RAM...note Try to find a normal teenager—heck, a normal white collar adult—that understood every one of these acronyms. Good luck.
In 1992, a New York Times columnist wrote a glossary of "Seattle grunge slang" for that paper. He didn't make it all up, but his cunning informant did. The gullible reporter reported it as fact. Some of the slang actually made its way into the mediasphere in minor ways. For example, it inspired the title of the short-lived Harsh Realm, a television series loosely based on a comic book called The Realm.
Michael Steele, the new chairman of the RNC, drew a great deal of satire for promising an "off the hook" PR campaign in "urban-suburban hip-hop settings", among many such 'cool' comments.
At some award show a few years ago, Joan Rivers made a comment about a rapper along the lines of "always getting some bling for him and his crew." Oops.
In an effort to "[tie] in nicely with the texting generation," Pizza Hut adopted the "secondary brand" of "The Hut", simultaneously if (presumably) unintentionally evoking memories of Spaceballs.
Speaking of shortened brand names, see "Mtn Dew", a name that to some suggests an attempt to save on ink costs, or the world's first mutton-flavored soft drink. Mmm, mutton flavored soft drink.
While campaigning in 2008, Mitt Romney once attempted to relate to the people by having his picture taken with bystanders while talking about camera phones and (awkwardly) using phrases such as "Who let the dogs out? Woof! Woof!" and talking about "bling bling" to a crowd of composed mostly of African-Americans. On MLK Day. In 2008.
This horrifying joke, found on a Laffy Taffy wrapper:
Q: What did one cool alien say to the other?
A: Yo! You're a far-out dude!
Similar to the above-mentioned "The Hut", Radio Shack was in the process of changing its name to "The Shack". In fairness, Radio Shack's employees have been privately calling their store "The Shack" for years. Makes perfect sense given that ham radio, where the name comes from, is considered rather vintage nowadays. Unless you're an amateur radio hobbyist, that is.
To encourage young people to go to Lake District, the council re-recorded some beautiful Wordsworth poetry as a rap song, along with a rapper in a squirrel fursuit. Called MC Nuts. No, really.
From 2009 to 2010, Denver's CW station, KWGN, called itself "KWGN The Deuce" in an attempt to appeal to a younger demographic. On-air personality Chris Parente even said on the day of the change (March 30, 2009) that it was "totally radical". This isn't the half of it: early on in the name's tenure, promos ended with text-speak; for example, a promo for Two and a Half Men would end with "chkles and gigls!"; this was dropped early on in the name's tenure.
This was all while then-owner Tribune Broadcasting was caught in a major Dork Age, as billionaire Sam Zell had bought the company (originally with the intention of gutting it for assets, something that didn't happen thanks to the Great Recession) and proceeded to ruin other stations they owned (WGN 720 in Chicago and WPIX in New York being two major examples; the former's decay can be read about here). Thankfully, as the company got out from under Zell's control most of the changes he and his underlings had wrought upon the company were reversed, with KWGN losing "The Deuce" and becoming the comparatively-staid "Colorado's Own Channel 2". However, Tribune never really recovered and was sold to the mega-group Nexstar in 2019.
Channel 1, a news program that sponsors high schools' broadcasting programs, has started showing "The Week in Rap" every Friday.
ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott's catchphrases were littered with these, particularly "Booyah!"
John Tesh, who hosts a radio advice show, had a segment explaining teen slang to parents. It's unknown who his sources were, but you're unlikely to have heard someone call their shoes "digs" or their friend "home skillet".
ESPN2 (then nicknamed "the Deuce") was created in 1993 as a Totally Radical attempt at a younger, hipper version of ESPN, with "edgier" graphics, more informal attire by show hosts (infamously, Keith Olbermann was made to wear a leather jacket as co-host of the network's flagship show), and greater emphasis on extreme sports. Beginning in the late '90s the network de-emphasized its youth-oriented aspects, becoming more like a supplemental version of its parent network.
Third Rock, a NASA Internet music station, is designed to "speak the language of internet-savvy young adults". The chief operating officer refers to these young adults as "today's 4G audience", demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of 4G.
In The '90s there was a Dutch ad campaign to keep kids from smoking. Since Smoking Is Cool they tried to showcase that cool people don't smoke. What the makers of these ads thought kids considered cool included: a waiter urinating in somebody's food, a guy punching his own father in the face for no reason whatsoever and another guy who made his mother believe his father had cheated on her and messing up their marriage For the Evulz. Let's just say the campaign was controversial.
As this xkcd comic shows, lots of politicians on Twitter use textspeak, despite having plenty of characters left.
This◊ list of ways you can sound "cool" without giving into peer pressure, some of which borderline into Unfortunate Implications territory. "Sorry, I love my family."
R U Lethal?, a driver's ed web show that tries to appeal to high schoolers by using painfully obvious and/or outdated pop culture references (Robert Pattinson's hair, anyone?), features a six year old white girl that vehemently berates bad drivers using "What's up, my homies?"-style gangsta slang, and refers to Google as "the google".
SiMPLE, a "kids programming language", reeks of this trope. From the front page: "Show Me How I Can Use SiMPLE To Send Totally Private Emails!" Not to mention a constant bashing of C++ on the "More Info" page.
In 2014, SEPTA (the Philadelphia area's public transportation system) launched its "Dude It's Rude!" passenger etiquette campaign. The "Watch your language" signs in particular take up an entire window on Market-Frankford line trains, much to the annoyance of people who want to actually be able to see out of them, judging from the chunks torn off the bottom of many of them.
From Cracked, this disaster of an ad campaign by Silo, using the already outdated in 1986 slang "bananas" for dollars. A new stereo only cost 299 bananas! So people did the obvious thing and showed up at store with 299 bananas (worth $40) to exchange for a brand new stereo, leading to Silo losing thousands of dollars in a day and sitting on more bananas than they could give away for free.
The election campaign of Filipino politician Juan Ponce Enrile, himself being notable for playing a key role during the EDSA Revolution and for being active in politics well into his nineties, tried to appeal to millenials by using local slang terms such as "lodi" (an anagram of "idol") and "petmalu"note "malupit", literally "brutal" or "draconian", though in a slang context it is roughly equivalent to "cool" or "awesome". Some have unsurprisingly pointed out at how half-hearted and cringy Enrile's attempts were to sway the youth into voting for him in 2019. It would have worked with a much younger aspring statesman, but not with an elderly senator who was already saddled with corruption accusations.