Symbols I want to use in everyday communication

Over the years, I’ve picked up some abbreviations, symbols, phrases and constructs from various places, which are really useful when texting to other people. They shorten text, make it more efficient, and sometimes sound cool. Unfortunately, I can’t really use them that often, since few people understand what I mean.

Here’s a short list of symbols and phrases that I would like to, but find hard to, use with people to make writing more terse.


Alternatives: Roger

Origin: Pre-1957 phonetic alphabet

Explanation: This is probably the most commonly used phrase on the list. Originally used during WWII for radio communications, the phrase “R” (or “Roger” in speech) is used for acknowledging something another person has said, generally in relation to an action concerning yourself. It can also be used as an abbreviation for the word “Ready”.



Alternatives: 200

Origin: TCP and HTTP protocols

Explanation: Similarly to the previous phrase, this is used to acknowledge something said to you. As a difference, this is more often a response to something that doesn’t require your action or doesn’t concern you directly. Both of these, however, are longer than the existing, similar word “OK”, so don’t get used as much.



Alternatives: bind

Origin: The Haskell programming language

Explanation: This is by far my favourite symbol in all of programming. The “monad bind operator” or >>= in Hakell is used to chain together monad operations. I will not go into the details of monads and the theory behind them, but I hope its usage is understandable from some examples (to the initiated, I am applying the special case of Maybe monads to everyday communication).

Essentially, it combines two questions into one. If the answer to the first question is “No”, then the reader is told to ignore the second question.


Original Text Text using >>=
“Do you want to go eat out today? If so, then where do you want to go?” “Do you want to go eat out today >>= where”
“Have you put the chicken in the oven already? If you have, when did you do it?” “Have you put the chicken in the oven >>= when”
“Are you coming to the party tonight? If so, then can you bring some drinks, please?” “Are you coming to the party tonight >>= bring some drinks pls”
“Have you solved problem 2 of the homework? If you have, can you give me a hint?” “Have you solved problem 2 of the homework >>= give me a hint”
“Did you see where I put my keys? If so, where?” “Did you see where I put my keys >>=*

* (if the second question is empty, then answer the first question with more than just a yes or no. Any normal person would do this anyway, but it’s a fun little use of the symbol)


That’s all my thoughts for now. Have any other quirky phrases you want to, but are afraid to use in everyday language?

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