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This article focuses on preteen British children's use of text messaging, particularly the abbreviations and characteristic language used within text messages. We look not only at the language style used by the children, but at the ways in which it relates to their traditional literacy skills, as measured through standardized tests and assessments. We have found repeated positive relationships between use of text register language and traditional literacy skills, and we give here a preview of our latest, longitudinal work, which allows those relationships to be studied directionally, enabling us to draw causal conclusions.