LINGUIST List 11.1998

Wed Sep 20 2000

Sum: "4U"-Type Constructions

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. Lorenz Hofer, "4U"-Type Constructions

Message 1: "4U"-Type Constructions

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 16:50:24 +0200
From: Lorenz Hofer <>
Subject: "4U"-Type Constructions

For Query: Linguist 11.1888 

Two weeks ago, I asked: 

I guess that there is a term for written expressions which are combined 
from Digits and Letters, like English "4U", "CU2" or "4SALE" or German 
"8TUNG" (caution).
Is there one, or are there several (scientific) terms for such 
combinations? I also would like to know, whether anybody knows about 
lists or other types of collections of such expressions.

Up to now, I have received seven answers.

A) Question about scientific terms:

There are several propositions to denominate expressions or spellings given
in my question. One could say that they are not really *expressions* but
rather *spellings* (of expressions), because "4U" can be considered as a
spelling variant of "for you". From another point of view, these spellings
are rebuses, representing "a small logosyllabic fringe component" of the
writing system of a language. From the point of view of writing, it is
proposed to call such expressions "rebus wrintings". "Rebus" seems to be 
the term for use of a symbol that is homophonous with another phonetically in
writing system.

B) Question about lists and collections of rebuses:

I've got some more examples:

7AC c'est assez (French)
K7 cassette (French)
OU812 Oh, you ate one, too (English)
H8TRED hatred (English)
INVU I envy you (English)

Knowbody knew about (mono- or multilingual) collections of rebusses.

Thanks to

Nanca E. Hall
Hal Schiffmany
Jea-Charles Khalifa
Kim Ebensgaard Jensen
Peter T. Daniels
R�my Viredaz
Larry Dwan Chong
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