Texting and Autograph Books


If you are of a certain age, as I am (LOL), you’ll probably remember autograph books, which we carried around and begged our classmates and neighborhood friends to sign. The signer of the autograph was expected to write something clever, something as witty as “Yours till Niagara Falls”. According to Wikipedia, this tradition dates back as far as 1545.  Judging from a web search, these little books are still widely available today, but I haven’t seen one in years. Yesterday I read this article from Discovery News, about how Victorian poets used abbreviations similar to those that today’s texters employ. It brought to mind a very popular autograph book saying:

YY U R

YY U B

I C U R

YY 4 me

Which translates to “too wise you are, too wise you be, I see you are too wise for me. Everything old is new again.

Wish I still had my old autograph books, but my mom probably threw them away when I left home for good. Alas.

SWAK (sealed with a kiss – mwah!)

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8 thoughts on “Texting and Autograph Books

  1. I had an autograph hound – a stuffed dachshund you could write on. They were quite the hot ticket in the mid sixties. I have my mother’s autograph book from high school in the 30′s. Lots of those kind of messages, I didn’t connect them with texting. Thanks.

  2. i have an exact copy of one of the albums in this picture; it was my great-great aunts. I’ll have to dbl check for abbreviations/19TH c. texting. The other old album I have, which is really special, was not from my family, I just happened to find the old thing.
    Take a look at it if you want at my website.
    I enjoy your blog very much.

  3. I remember getting Sonia Lannaman’s autograph. Who? She was a British sprinter. Good too. I think that’s the height of it.

    But when it comes to those abbreviations, I really must correct you. Who these days would merely SWAK – it was always SWALK – when I was at school. Sealed With A Loving Kiss. Though maybe those Victorians were more circumspect.

    Which means they would never have stopped to NORWICH.

    Which stands for: kNickers Off Ready When I Come Home.
    Far too saucy, no?

  4. I had the autograph hound, too…which was signed in really cool code like Luv U 4-ever. I’ll have to tell my teenagers that I was texting way back in the 70s! Maybe they’ll think I’m groovy now!

  5. I had the exact book pictured above. I also had the little book of clever autographs: “Yours till Niagara Falls”, does anyone remember it? Long live the 60′s!

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