Several years ago, I took up texting.  And Twitter.  And Facebook.  And other forms of social communication through the quickly written word.  I fell in love with it and how it was so easily integrated into my life.  I use it daily and nightly.  It is how I communicate with my kids.  It is how I communicate with extended family, with friends, with co-workers and I also use in my marketing efforts for my company.  I love the speed of delivery, as well as the speed of receipt.

The hand-written letter was a thing of the past as more homes installed telephones.  Telephones conversations became a thing of the past as personal computers became more popular and email was adopted.  Cell phones took oral communication on the road and we saw a resurgence of the spoken communication, that is until texting and mobile internet.  Now, a whole new kind of shorthand has been invented and accepted by almost everyone. 

 

I am all about shortcuts, but being a passionate English student, I have been unable to embrace some of the acronyms that grace status updates and text messages today.  IMHO – really?  If it were truly your “humble” opinion, you’d keep it to yourself.  ROFL (which I thought was cute) has now given way to ROFLMAO – which is an image I don’t really need.  But, interestingly enough, the one I have never been able to get behind and literally have never used, ever?  LOL – it was even hard for me to type it here.  I hate it.  I can’t stand it. I am not completely humorless, I will write haha or hehe if I read something or come across something funny.

 

Why do I refuse to LOL?  It may have something to do with my language sensibilities, it also bothers me that it gets plugged in at the end of almost every online sentence, and it just grinds on me, like downshifting to first gear in a 1967 VW.   

Words are important to me.  I try not to be careless with my own brand of humor.  I will laugh at what you say, but rarely laugh at my own jokes.  LOL dropped at the end of your own sentence is like saying, “Don’t I look pretty?”  Umm, well, no – actually you don’t.  Wit or humor should naturally occur in the receiver, not be ferociously primed like the driest pump in Oklahoma, or require an ill-written provocation.  This is the only time you will ever see me write this overused non-word and totally unworthy acronym.  You can expect full sentences and commas in my texts and tweets. 

 

by rayannethorn

 

 

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The problem with quick phrases and easy slogans is that constant use of them reduces our ability to define in any detail the nuances and complexities of any given situation.  Resorting to easy phrases develops stereotypes that lack the more unique characteristics that better language command can offer.   Often it is not a problem, but then it becomes a problem when you watch college graduates struggling with their language skills and their ability to define emotions or even situations that warrant better description.

Dear Rayanne,

 

I also have a huge issue with laziness with the english language.  Another pet hate is the use of numbers instead of words. Eg. 2night. You will find this really funny.

 

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-y...

 

Kind regards,

Ineke Read

Gordon- I have witnessed this type of language breakdown with my own children, especially my fourteen year old son...  I constantly remind him and ask him to change the way he texts, but he does what he wants with his own friends, right.. the new shorthand as it were..

 

Ineke - That is hi-larious and so darn true...  Thanks for sharing.. I hate the number thing too.. I remember my English teacher practically slapping my hands for not writing out numbers when they were less than 100. Tweeting is the only venue where I allow myself to write the numerals instead...

 

Funny stuff...

Hello Rayanne... I love the written word too - I think though we need to write to our audiences - I think it is possible to shorten language on Twitterhspeak  and in  smartphone communication - but if you are writing for a captive audience proper use of the English language  is essential ( I do like to have fun with it sometimes)  ...   Oh and on the use of LOL ... I use it to indicate my mood on an opinion ...

@Paul- I definitely adapt my writing to my audience and have learned to write fewer words to make a more impactful point on Twitter.  I love Twitter and how it has forced us to say more in less time/words.  I am a firm believer that "laughing out loud" should be done in person... as it is not "laughing online" to me...

 

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