Text Etiquette LOL

Kyle Parikh ’18, Business and Ad/Circulation Manager

Sending a text that is interpreted exactly as intended is a very rare circumstance. It becomes harder and harder to express thoughts as communication becomes more convenient. It seems like there is always some sort of miscommunication when text messages are sent, this may be due to a lie or negligence. There seems to be an ideological gap between the text senders and the text receivers. The sender’s intended meaning does not always match up with the interpretation of the recipient. This divide needs to be crossed so that both parties can reach complete clarity.


What the sender thinks: “I just want to say okay very quickly.”

What the recipient thinks: “You really only care about me enough to just say ‘K?’ I would be lying if I said this does not hurt my feelings.”


The classic ‘K’ text is typically sent by the older generation. The most common exchange of ‘K’ occurs between auntie and nephew. The recipient sees this as a sign of passive aggressiveness. It seems even more passive aggressive when the ‘K’ includes a period, or when it is lowercase. Adding a period to the end of a text message gives off the serial killer vibe, this is magnified when accompanied with the dreaded ‘k.’ Sending the ‘K’ text is a cardinal sin amongst veterans to the text game. The auntie believes that sending a one letter answer is a proper form of sending confirmation. Putting forth a bit more effort by sending the full ‘okay’ can solve the generational rift between auntie and nephew.  

Be there in five:

What the sender thinks: “I haven’t even woke up yet, I won’t be there for another 45 minutes”

What the recipient thinks: “Oh awesome! I can wait in the cold because my best friend will arrive in just five short minutes!”


The ‘five minutes’ text is a classic lie that everyone has been experienced by literally everyone. However, veteran texters have adapted to interpret ‘five minutes’ by its true meaning. The best way to avoid this phenomenon is to use a number other than five, something more off-the-wall, something such as eight for example. “I will be there in eight minutes” is much more credible than “I will be there in five minutes” because it coaxes the recipient into thinking that the sender is using a global positioning system that includes arrival time.


The Law of Y:

Hey: “We need to talk”

Heyy: “I accidentally pressed y twice, whoopsies.”

Heyyy: “We should definitely have a romantic relationship.”

Heyyy+: “This is my way of telling you that I am a stalker, but without being too obvious.”

The Law of Y is recognized by the most adept texters, as well as the novice. The Law of Y is a concept coined by the researchers at Lions’ Roar. The Law of Y states that “For each of the letter ‘Y,’ or the lowercase variant ‘y,’ incorporated into the spelling of texts, there is more affection being given. This can be represented by the following equation: Attraction Level=(He)+yx. In other words, the more times the letter ‘y’ is used, the more that person likes you.


Leaving somebody on ‘read’:


There is a feature on most cellular devices that lets the other person know the exact time that the text message was opened. This is a particularly dangerous feature when someone does not issue a response. Picture this, you finally build up the courage to send your crush a text, they do not respond for three hours and you start to get curious, so you look at the message thread and it says “read: 12:43 pm” but there is no response. In order to put this into perspective, imagine the scenario in real life. Someone walks up to you and says, “heeyyy,” even if you really do not want to talk to that person, you will respond. Imagine trying to talk to someone and they just act like you do not exist. Leaving someone on ‘read’ is just like sending someone to solitary confinement.

Photo courtesy of Lifewire

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