Market Researchers Must Pay Attention to Changes in Language

hustleTen years ago, Cingular created a truly iconic commercial to promote their unlimited talk and texting plan, wherein a mother asks her daughter who she’s texting so much, and the daughter responds “IDK, my BFF Jill?” The commercial is subtitled, translating the acronyms into “I don’t know, my best friend forever Jill?” It’s hard to imagine just that 10 years ago, those common text message acronyms would have needed translation.

Now, however, the language has evolved again. Not only do respondents answer the verbatim questions of surveys with acronyms such as “IDK”, but you may also see more modern slang terms like “lit”, “fire”, and “hundo p”. It can be challenging including responses with these turns of phrase in your analysis, if you don’t know what they all mean.

Luckily, Jennifer Jolly of USA Today has created a guide to current teenage slang that’s a lifesaver for those of us who aren’t fifteen anymore.

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