“Thru” vs. “through”

A highly digitalized world has brought on a plethora of alterations to the English language. While grammatical correctness itself has failed to alter in any way, spellings and sentence structure in daily written language have faltered some. While it may be widely understood what the word “through” means and how to spell it, for example, that knowledge is not preventing English speakers from using “thru” instead. This abbreviated text, although realistically only dropping three letters, evidently adds enough ease to typing a conversation that the spelling is frequently adapted in text-based communications.

The spelling for the word “through” has of course not officially changed, at least not for several centuries. In modern English, it remains the same as it has since Shakespeare was writing. However, a boom in technology – in particular text message on phones and instant messages on computers – have led people to shorthand at every opportunity possible. “Thru” is intended to have an identical meaning to “through”, it simply uses less characters. These abbreviations do, however, become crucial in instances where character count is highly limiting. “Thru” would not be used to replace “through” in a novel or a homework assignment, but it would be very realistic to use “thru” as a way to shorten up “through” in a short tweet on Twitter.

There is really no formal way to use the spelling “thru”, but it is important to recall its usefulness when in the proper context. “Through”, nonetheless, remains the orthographically correct word of choice.


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