The Federal Communications Commission has approved the rules for it. The four major wireless carriers already support it. The manufacturers are fine-tuning the technologies to enable it.

But, when more public-safety answering points (PSAPs) start accepting text-to-911 calls, will call-takers be able to understand the content of the messages?

A commonly stated concern about text-to-911 service is that the messages will be so packed with text abbreviations that they will be rendered unintelligible to call-takers in PSAPs.

But many of the text messages, including ones crafted by teenagers, haven’t been as indecipherable as feared, says Bob Gojanovich, next-generation 911 sales director for TeleCommunication Systems (TCS).

Gojanovich attributes that to the autocorrect function on smartphones—not because the feature forces people into using better spelling and grammar, but because autocorrect has proven too annoying to resist.

“People have wrestled with autocorrect because it changes the word that you started to type in. If you go in and start typing ‘My BFF is OMG,’ it does amazing things with it,” Gojanovich said during a session at APCO 2014 in New Orleans.

“The trend has been to stop using those abbreviations entirely, and kids are texting in plain English language, because it’s easier than fighting with the autocorrect function and their message gets through faster.”

It’s unclear what the collective experience for early adopters has been so far with text messages received from teenagers—and others who regularly use text abbreviations in regular conversation—when texting 911. One APCO attendee commented that his experiences texting with his son and nephew have left him believing that the younger generation’s language for texting actually has deteriorated further.

John Rennie of NICE Systems, who was also on the panel, noted that, while the text abbreviations and other creative spellings used for texting represent a challenge for PSAPs, they’re also just a part of the evolution of language.

For many of the PSAPs that have already started providing the service, this is an issue they have tried to address through public-education campaigns.

“Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible,” the city of Rochester, N.Y., says on its website.

Interestingly, an incident in Chicago last January may be an indication that teens know when to use the abbreviations and when to use plain English.

Last January, a 15-year-old helped stop a robbery when he texted his father this message while locked in a café bathroom with his mom and sister: “Don’t come, robber in here, call 911.” The dad, who had walked down the street, said in news reports at the time that he knew his son was serious because he wasn’t using “that teenage abbreviated approach to texting.”

Another text-to-911 fear that hasn’t materialized is that PSAPs would be overwhelmed with text messages once the service was available, according to Gojanovich and David Hopkins, director of the Steuben County, N.Y., 911.