The Yale Man’s Guide to Texting

30 Jan

Ahh, texting. The past 10 years have brought us this glorious additional layer of technological relationship complication, and even if you are one of those fogies who swear it’s not important, believe us, it’s important. Texting is an intricate practice, and no one should go into this jungle of uncertainty and smileys without the proper machete. So here it is, the official Yale Man’s Guide to Texting:

Lol – We’ll start with the basics – the lol. Now, in general, the lol is a good thing. If it’s at the front of the text, it signals that your previous text made her laugh. Score! However, lols are not only used for laughter. They can also be used to diffuse tension or say that you shouldn’t take seriously what she just said (even though you should).

Good lol: lol! Yeahhh hamsters would look cray cray with bowties!

Bad lol: YEahh I totally didnt even want to go to that thing lol

Read: Oh yes I did, you lazy biz-nitch

And with lols, as with nearly every texted word, more letters = more betters.

Lolllllll || lololololol > lol

Ha – This texting convention can be a little confusing, because even though it may seem like it implies a laugh, it really signifies more of a sigh, or an attempt to make you think you’re funny. As with the lol, placement matters; at the front says she’s sighing at you, and at the back is a self-sigh.

Front ha – Ha you should really pursue this bowtie-hamster thing

Back ha –  And then we kind of passed out ha

Haha – Haha essentially serves the same purpose as the lol (though with a bit more maturity, in our humble opinions). It most commonly means that what you said was funny, or she wants to signal that what she’s saying is funny. Generally a good thing.

Hahaha – Generally a great thing! If haha is the courtesy laugh, hahaha means you ACTUALLY made her laugh. Congrats! And, as with the lol, more ha’s are even better. YOU WANT MANY OF THESE.

… – ellipses are tricky, because based on their placement, they can mean completely different things. In the middle of a sentence, ellipses can simply be a segue into a different thought. At the end, they can mean uncertainty or judgment. If she sends a text which consists solely of ellipses, you messed up biiig and she is pissed at what you just said.

Middle ellipses: Im not going to the show… why do Sikhs carry a knife if they believe in nonviolence?

Back ellipses: umm the KIRPAN is used as a defensive weapon…

. – Periods full on suck because there’s no standardization in their texting usage. Some people think they should be used at the end of every sentence, but we here at Men’s Guide think that periods at the end of a text look unnecessarily harsh. Hopefully you know a girl well enough to know her patterns, but in general, an end text period means pissiness to follow. Just look at the difference between these two examples:

I’m feeling chill right now: Ok

I’m feeling like a pissy she-monster: Ok.

SO HARSH. Avoid this punctuation at all costs.

:  ) – And now to the emoticons. This particular one is fraught with ambiguity, because it can easily signal friendship or flirtatiousness. If a girl’s already your friend, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take it as friendly. But at least you make her smile! Oh, and as a side note on your own texting etiquette, it is acceptable for guys to use the smiley, but you probably shouldn’t overdo it, because it is a fairly girly emoticon, and you might come across as a little gay. And as an (ostensibly straight) Yale man, you probably don’t want another reason for girls to think you like the dudes.

: ( – The opposite of smiley: the frownie! No real subtext to this one; it means she’s sad. GIVE HER CANDY. SHE PROBABLY LOVES CANDY.

And finally:



One Response to “The Yale Man’s Guide to Texting”

  1. By Yale Women for Yale Men February 2, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

    A bit of clarification: when I say don’t overdo it with the smileys, I mean within one text. I mean, we see how 🙂 🙂 🙂 looks, right? I’m not saying don’t use smileys – use them as much as possible! Just maybe limit yourself to one per text. Reasonable, no?

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