Over one trillion text messages were sent and received in the U.S. alone last year, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association.
Have ever analyzed a stack of emails during an inquiry or investigation just to be dumbfounded with abbreviations such as BIC. Does it stand for Best In Class or Boss Is Coming. As text-messaging shorthand becomes ubiquitous, investigators everywhere need to be tech-savvy about decoding the hidden messages. To be misinformed about the latest in text-speak could potentially mislead you into taking important information out of context.
According to the WSJ’s Stephanie Raposo “confusion over the meaning of abbreviations for the un-trained has given rise to a number of resources that provide English translations for terms like WRUD (“What are you doing?”) and TTYL (“Talk to you later”)—among them independent Web sites like NetLingo.com and UrbanDictionary.com and corporate ones like LG Mobile Phones’ DTXTR.com.”
It’s my understanding that shorthand texting is here to stay so let’s embrace its provenance and leverage the resources available to make our job as investigators a bit easier.