Shorthand has been with us in one form or another ever since mankind first developed a means to communicate with one another. Truncated text has always had a purpose in certain applications, such as dictation, semaphore, or telegrams; so it’s no surprise that texting has adopted its own shorthand much the same as instant messaging and chat rooms before it. For better or worse, text-ese is likely with us to stay. Which raises the question, how far might it go in our correspondence? For instance, what if sacred texts were to be translated into text-ese?
Let’s start with the Ten Commandments:
1. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Translation: GRWG. I am l33t. LOTR. I > other gods. It’s a very simple equation: God has no equal and deserves his props. Recognize.
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”
Translation: Copyright © 5000 B.C. God®.
3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
Translation: TMWFI, Don’t dis me, Man. When God tells you to take his word for it, we think it’s best not to find out the hard way what the consequences are of dissing him.
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.”
Translation: TGIF. It wouldn’t take many characters to summarize the gist of this commandment. Just don’t text it while you’re driving if you want to wake up in one piece on the Sabbath, OK?
5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
Translation: <3 ur folks, BFF. OK, so maybe you don’t see them as your best friends forever right now, but TOWFI (take our word for it), someday you will. So love your folks, kids.
6. “You shall not murder.”
Translation: DNT U Kill PPL. Srsly. It doesn’t get much clearer than this. Seriously, and why we even need to have a commandment for this, OMG.
7. “You shall not commit adultery.”
Translation: DNT DV8. No BTYCL. This one is another pretty straightforward message. God doesn’t want you deviating from your commitment to your mate/spouse. No booty calls.
8. “You shall not steal.”
Translation: DNT b down w/ OPP. You read us right: don’t be down with other people’s property. Get your own stuff, and leave theirs alone.
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Translation: MYOB. Yes, mind your own business, and don’t spread gossip or false accusations about your neighbors.
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Translation: Keep ur i’s 2 urslf. It’s OK to want things, but when you dwell on your neighbor’s goods, bad things tend to happen. So stay focused on the good things in your own life, and be happy for your neighbor’s good fortunes too.
While some of these translations might lack the coherency of the original, they certainly make up for it in brevity. But no matter which way you say them, the Ten Commandments are worth following. 2 good 2 be 4 gotten.
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