Signal Vine Blog: Text Me Back

To Abbreviate, or Not to Abbreviate?

Posted by Jessica Perkins on September 8, 2016
It can be tricky to craft the perfect text message to students. You have a lot to say, not much room to say it, and on top of that, you don’t want to be seen as trying too hard. This is where text abbreviations come in - when used appropriately, they can go a long way with students, but they’re so easy to misuse. Here’s my advice for abbreviating text messages:
 hand-texting-student.jpg
To Abbreviate
 
Don’t go crazy with abbreviations. You don’t need to change the grammar and spelling of every word; abbreviations should be used only to keep your message under 160 characters. Common abbreviations include:
 
  • By the way = btw
  • For your information = FYI
  • Tomorrow = tmrw
  • Questions = Qs, ?s
  • Information = info
In addition to those common abbreviations, students will also understand and respond to short abbreviations that are department- or school-specific:
 
  • Financial aid = fin aid
  • Application = app
  • Register, registration = reg
  • University = uni
If you’re trying to prompt student responses, using an abbreviation such as lmk (“Let me know”) is a great way to nudge students to respond as if they’re texting a friend. For example, texting a student, "Lmk if you need help!" makes you seem more approachable and relatable to the student.
 
Or Not to Abbreviate
 
Texts like, "u can come c me 4 help" don’t reflect the way students text each other today, and may deter students from responding to you. Students are less likely to respond to texts from a university when too many abbreviations are used - especially when you use outdated and unnecessary abbreviations like “you” to “u.”
 
Would you respond to a text that looked like this?
 
“Hi there! We noticed u hvn’t finished ur app yet. There’s still time 2 submit. R u still planning 2 apply? LMK! Rply y/n”
 
Try this instead:
 
“Hi there! We noticed you haven’t finished your app yet. There’s still time. Are you still planning on applying? LMK! Reply yes/no”
 
Use abbreviations wisely for a more effective and more responsive texting relationship with students. Lmk if you have any Qs!
 
Learn more tips and tricks by downloading our "Essential Guide to Texting Acronyms and Emojis".
Download Here
 

About the author: Jessica is a senior at the George Washington University, where she's studying marketing. She's the Business Development Intern and keeps the team updated on the latest mobile trends for college students.

Topics: Tips & Tricks, Texting, Abbreviation

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