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Texts from last night… decoded

Sometimes a guy texts you and you don’t know what he’s saying. Sometimes a guy texts you and you know what he’s saying but are confused as to What It Really Means. Most of the time, you wish he’d just man up and call you, but boys lacking in the balls department would often rather communicate via abbrevs and emoticons. What ever is a girl to do?

Worry not, young coeds! In this crazy cyber world of tweeting, texting and twiddle-deeing, we are here to help.

Each month, we will trade our dictionaries for dicktionaries and attempt to translate those twisted text message convos we know you have saved on your phone. With a new semester and (hopefully) a new set of guys upon us, we both welcome and implore you to submit those tough-to-interpret text exchanges. Here’s how the process will go down:

1. Submit your text transcripts in the box at the bottom of the page, formatted as follows:

BACKGROUND: Detail any relevant history. For example: 1) Moderately cute wrestler. Met at grungy club two Thursdays ago. Hooked up on dance floor. Sits next to me in writing seminar. Acknowledged my existence for the first time post hook-up last week when he commented on purple pen I use to peer edit.

SCENARIO: We need context (Get it?!) Are you at a party? Sitting in your dorm pretending to be at a party?

PLAY BY PLAY: Write out the exchange, with timestamps, like so:
Boy (Saturday, 11:15 p.m.): heyyy, what are u up to tonight?
Me (11:47): nothin much just hanging out
Boy (11:48): oh …

2. We will inspect the messages with magnifying glasses, pull them apart with tweezers and consult hot guys.

3. The next column will feature our translation in a No Fear Shakespeare dummy-proof fashion, plus tips for next time. In this case:

Boy: Hi. I think you’re cute and want to hang out. I want to see if you’d be interested in meeting up.
You: I’m secretly excited but don’t want to come off as overeager. I’ll respond nonchalantly and hope you understand that I’m trying to be chill, not cold.
Boy: [Misses nonchalant attempt. Finds you cold. Turn off.] Hmm … I’m being shut down and will refrain from showing further interest for fear of rejection.

Text Tips:

  • The “heyyy” with multiple y’s didn’t come from him holding down the “y” key for too long. Everyone knows elongated consonants are playful, as is the “u” instead of “you”.
  • You waited 32 minutes to tell him you were doing nothing. He feels stupid.
  • The “…” indicates this stupidity. If you’re actually into him, let him know. You don’t have to break out exclamation points, but keep the conversation going.

4. You are now armed with more knowledge than ever before. Take the world of college boys by storm. You are so above the average frat guy, you may even start hooking up with graduate students and T.A.’s. Congrats!

SEND US YOUR TEXTS. It’s therapeutic and fun.

Katie most enjoys friends, non-fiction, and dessert. She graduated from University of Pennsylvania and is a contributing editor at Glamour magazine.
Jess (Penn ’11) left her Pleasantville-esque hometown of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey to study English and creative writing. At Penn, she has been an editor of 34th Street magazine and its blog, underthebutton.com. Jess is also the Adventure Editor of The Lost Girls travel website. If you find a way to score her Bruce Springsteen tickets, she’ll probably marry you or at least make out with you. She had a pretty deprived childhood (no TV allowed on school nights) and is compensating for lost time by consuming pop culture like Don Draper downs martinis. This summer she worked as the entertainment intern at Seventeen magazine, where she hugged Kellan Lutz. Unrelated fun fact: Jess is a book nerd who will read just about anything that is not a Twilight book. Sorry, Kellan.
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