Decoding the latest text lingo

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by Sybil Hoffman

azfamily.com

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 8 at 2:00 PM

GILBERT, Ariz. -- OMG, LOL, while those are probably the most popular texting acronyms, kids are constantly creating new ones. So what is the latest lingo and how can parents decode every code word?

Heather Coleman is a senior at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert.

"How did I ever live without this?" she asked. "It's kind of become a part of what I do on a daily basis."

Heather, like most teens, never has her iPhone far from reach. But being constantly connected can come with a price.

"There's a lot of gossip," Hailey Marshall said. "There's a lot of backstabbing through phones." 

And a lot of that happens through code.

"Very simple, three-letter acronyms could mean something really, really dark, and something you need to know about as a parent," said Ken Moskowitz with Data Doctors.

Moskowitz recommends constant monitoring.

"We randomly check, it's like random drug testing," he said. "They don't know when we're going to look at their stuff but we do."

But what happens if you check regularly only to find yourself still in the dark? For example, would you know what GNRN stands for?

Heather's mom, Carol Coleman, responded, "Good Night Right Now?"

Not exactly. GNRN actually means Get Naked Right Now.

"I would not have guessed that," Coleman said.

Then there's GYPO.
   
Hailey's mom, Michelle Burgess guessed, "Get Your, uh oh, is that what I think it is? Get Your Pants Off? Oh my goodness. Yeah, don't like that."

How about NIFOC?

"Not In Front Of Computer?" Coleman guessed.

Wrong again. NIFOC is code for Naked In Front Of Computer.

Coleman wasn't the only one lost. Her daughter was stumped by a few acroynms herself.

For example, GAP.

"I feel it has some sort of innuendo in there, but I can't figure out what it is so I'll just go with Go Ask Please,"  Heather said.

Nope, GAP means Got A Picture?

"That's where I think the parenting comes in," Burgess said. "You have to be on top of stuff because the technology is so different today than it was in my generation and it's moving so quickly."

Hailey explained another way teens communicate without getting caught.

"Pretty much everyone has Snapchat these days and if you don't, it's because you don't have an iPhone."

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows you to send pictures and video that are deleted within seconds.

"Lots of kids have Instagram," Hailey said. "That's another picture place only it doesn't get deleted."

"The best thing you can do as a parent is when you see something you don't understand, don't ask your kid because your kid is going to lie to you," Moskowitz said. "Get on the Internet and find out the answer."

If you do get pushback from your teen, Moskowitz also advises reminding them you're paying for the phone so you get to make the rules.

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