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AT&T to texters: LMK ur fav txts
By Anna Marie Kukec | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/10/2010 12:00 AM

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Are OMG and LOL so yesterday? Those acronyms for "Oh my God!" and "laughing out loud" seem generations ago. Acronyms and abbreviations in text messages continue to become more prevalent and creative, whether you're a teen, 20-something or older.

AT&T, which has its Midwest headquarters in Hoffman Estates, asked its more than 580,000 Facebook fans for their favorite updated texting abbreviations. Nearly 600 responded.

Here are the top 5 most popular:

• WRUD = what are you doing

• FB = Facebook

• FTW = for the win

• OMW = on my way

• IDK = I don't know

Runners up included:

• LMK = let me know

• 143 = I love you (the numbers reflects the number of letters in each word)

Texting has exploded in recent years, due to the proliferation of smartphones and bundled texting packages.

About 1.5 trillion text messages were sent nationwide in 2009, compared to 110 billion the year before, according to CTIA, a Washington, D.C.-based wireless trade association.

AT&T Wireless said its network has seen its numbers soar as well. About 457 billion text messages were sent in 2009, compared to about 243 billion in 2008. Already, about 297 billion were sent during the first half of this year across AT&T nationwide, according to the company's data.

"It's an increasingly popular way for family and friends to communication and it's become the primary way to communicate with your kids," said Gina Macchitelli of Bartlett, marketing director for AT&T's consumer services in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The drivers are the teens and young adults, and it's expected to grow, said Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Carolyn Schamberger.

A Nielsen report issued in late August showed teens texted the most by sending or receiving an average of 2,779 messages each per month. Those ages 18 to 24 sent or received 1,299 a month. Adults ages 25 to 34 sent and received nearly 600 text messages each month, while adults ages 35 to 44 sent and received about 450.

Illinois was one of the most active states with the average mobile phone user sending and received between 500 and 600 texts each month, said Nielsen.

I asked my FB friends what abbreviations they used the most. Here's what they had to say:

• U = you

• W/ = with

• BTW = by the way

• K = OK

• TX = thanks

One FBer said "Can you believe my kids were annoyed that I abbreviated too much, so I stopped it. I know, I'm a parent. I'm so embarrassing!"

BTW, here are some websites that offer extensive listings of the most common text abbreviations:

www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php

techdictionary.com/chat.html

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.