The sign that's in your email address, and everyone else's, actually got its start hundreds of years ago in monasteries. Textspeak isn't just for tweens. It's for monks.
A survey of Chinese youths has found that 83% of them have struggled to remember the precise format of their language's characters when writing, old school style, with a pen or pencil. Computers and phones are to blame.
Turns out it's not just modern youths that can't be bothered writing out their words properly in communications—text speak was being used by lazy Victorian poets more than 100 years ago. 4 real.