'Do you know what 'brb' means?' my husband asks over a bowl of chilli.
Never, since he suggested we have another baby, have I been so surprised.
Mr B is learning text speak. This is the man who refuses to own a mobile phone and closes emails - when he writes them at all - with 'yours sincerely'. He's found another use for this special code: chat during on-line bridge games. He can't afford to take his eye of the cards for long enough to form proper sentences and suddenly he's using lowercase 'i' and all kinds of unspeakable things. Next thing we know, he'll be ending every message with 'lol'.
I have to capitalise and puncutate my text messages. This is a slow process. I'm still astonished by the speed with which 'young people' manage to text. Can thumbs evolve that quickly? I text at a rate of five words per minute whilst biting my tongue in intense concentration.
Emoticons, on the other hand, I like. They say that up to 93% of communication is non-verbal. It's the tone of voice, the twinkle of an eye or the turn of a head that can make a comment aggressive or just 'a bit of fun' between friends. That the figure should be quite so high still astonishes me.
Even if a 'little yellow blob' can't do all the work, if they oil the cogs of human interaction then I'm all for them.