New to the texting world, need help!! Much dorkness to recover from.

I just found out that our company phones come with unlimited texting. I was a bit worried there for a while because I started using the feature thinking that it would be cheaper then a bunch of one minute phone calls here and there.
Man, after talking to some friends this weekend I realised how wrong I could have been if my boss got a bill as if each text was 20 cents (or more!). That would have been an interesting meeting. Since I’m sure he doesn’t even know what a text message is.
Anyway, I’ve begun to delve into teh world of text messaging except I’m such a dork at it. A nOOb as some might say? I was texting a friend the other day and got completely “owned”, except she used the term pawned, I think (the hell?).
Clearly I take way too much time to compose text messages and take great effort to actually spell complete words (with correct puncuation and all) like a complete dumb-ass. Apparently this is a no-no in the text world, of which my friend is the Queen.
So, I should be using this service with more fury, hipness, and fonics and less T-9, right?
Example of friends text message to follow (in reponse to my text - “Are you still at the beach?”);

At first it looked like she just mashed the key pad with the side of her fist a few times. Then after close scrutiny I was able to decipher the message. Apparently she’s got a burst appendix and is on her way to the ER. Right?

Help me out here, what am I doing wrong?
Help me become a more fluent, less owned texter. Please.
(Feel free to interject your own text speak)

Parent of a teenager who regularly goes waaaay over her text message limit every month, and co-worker of many people who text constantly (think several hundred times a day) checking in.

The fact that you take the time to spell complete words and use correct punctuation clearly shows you have no place in the World O’ Texting. Please turn in your phone.

My teen-age daughter and all her friends send text messages with correct spelling and punctuation. They look down on the idiots that send leet. I say go ahead and continue to do it your way and chastize the morons that send you garbage.

Oh, come now. That seems a bit harsh.
Do some text plans charge by the character? Or maybe they used to and everyone still texts like they’re paying by the letter? I know speed has something to do with it, you want to try to communicate effectively and quickly, as if you were actually talking to the person.

There is no per-character fee, though there is a limit of a couple of hundred letters.

I imagine that the real funky text speak came from folks who were keying in the messages using the phone keypad. I have a keyboard on my Treo, so I don’t really have a need to abbreviate.

No, it just either laziness or ignorance.

Uncommon Sense, you are me at a yet-to-be-determined time in the future. Good luck!

::subscribes to thread::

Exactly. I do the same. It just means they haven’t bothered to learn how to use predictive texting. The only person who I know who doesn’t do so is my mother, and she has only had the phone a few months, bless.

I use texting every so often. It is quite convenient. I type the “long” way without any iTap stuff (I find that confusing). So that necessitates me having to shorten words sometimes. I think it takes practice to know which words are faster than others.

For example, “ur” is 88-777 while “your” is 999-666-88-777. For me, punctuation is all in the 1 button, so I don’t use too much in the way of single quotes or commas, but I do use periods, question marks and exclamation points (because they are all at the beginning of the list). And the occasional smiley, which takes a lot of doing to find the : and ).

My grammar is decent - above what the OP posted as an example but obviously far below how I type here on the SDMB. But it’s out of necessity. I’d think that if I did texting all day every day, the grammar would get worse as my hand wore out.

When I text (infrequently), I spell out most words, and use punctuation. However, I do replace some words with abbreviations (i.e. “Are” becomes “R” and “your/you’re” becomes “ur”).

Other than that, it’s just like here (which means a bunch of spelling errors, too).

I’m not sure at what point doing something more efficiently – with five strokes instead of eleven, as in Zip’s example – constitutes “laziness.” But then, the “LOL’ing” and “CU l8tr” is too cute for me.

I use “u” and “r” for “you” and “are”. I also use “w” for “with” and “@” for “at” or “about.” But I can’t get much further into leet, because I don’t understand it (which makes me feel old).

I still type full words, as do all of the people I text. No shrt wrds tht cnfus u.
I have some phrases I use a lot saved as ‘quick text’ to speed things up, though.

I text all the time… its practically a national pass time over here, and I always spell things out properly. With the exception of using u for you and d for th most people tend to spell out everything. Of course there are some people who abbreviations, its kind of understandable if your msg goes over 140 characters. if that happens you get charged for two texts!

I dont understand why moe people dont use predictive text though, its so much easier, if you want the word done you would tap 4664 then choses your word from the options that come up. The only problem with it is sometimes in a hurry you might forget to change the word, I dont know how many times Ive wrote Im on the cup instead of Im on the bus!

I find that predictive texting is a pain in the neck if you text in more than one language.