I've noticed that when grown-ups (i.e., non-teenagers) send me text messages, they resemble actual English. When teenagers (namely volleyball kids) send me text, it's in chat shorthand.
What do you do?
I probably wouldn't send a text message at all. I don't understand the purpose of them. But generally speaking, I hate shorthand.
I almost always use full words in my text messages, iTAP makes it really easy.
full words, T9 all the way (doesn't recognize chat shorthand)
Experiment time..... type Smirnoff into your phone using T9 and see what comes up. :)
It usually depends who I am sending to and what the data is. It is a little easier w/ my device as I have a fully qwerty keyboard, but I tend to use shorthand more; especially for longer words or when I am about to reach the 160 character limit.