Sunday, August 05, 2007
IMHO, TLAs R a PITA.
The shorthand can’t be missed. It’s everywhere. Text messaging, instant messages, emails, and message boards are where the most frequent sightings occur. Even if you’re not into the whole texting thing, you see it in commercials and magazine ads. Recently, I read about a 13-year-old Scottish girl who turned in an essay written entirely in SMS shorthand. SMS has a few definitions but let’s go with Short Message Service for simplicity.
Not familiar with it? Keep in mind that I’m not a teenager or an expert in this method of communication. Still, I’ll attempt to provide an example - followed by a translation.
IMHO, SMS does not make me LOL or ROTF. PPL use TLAs & think they’re GR8. 2 me, they’re a PITA. I M sure fans would like 2 tell me, “STFU, MYOB, QYB, and GOYHH.” Grammar is FUBAR, 2. OMG, & WTF s^ w/EWI & PWI? Apparently, I need 2 RTFM, bcuz I dont get it. I may B SOL. FFS, SSEWBA. YMMV. THX 4 listening. CUL8R & TTFN.
In my humble opinion, short message service does not make me laugh out loud or roll on the floor (laughing). People use three letter acronyms and think they’re great. To me, they’re a pain in the ass. I am sure fans would like to tell me, “Shut the fuck up, mind your own business, quit your bitching and get off your high horse.” Grammar is fucked up beyond all recognition, too. Oh, my, God, and what the fuck is up with emailing while intoxicated and posting while intoxicated. Apparently, I need to read the fucking manual because I don’t get it. I may be shit out of luck. For fuck’s sake, someday soon everything will be an acronym. Your mileage may vary. Thanks for listening. See you later and tah-tah for now.
I admit, it’s a poorly written paragraph but it’s just an example.
I’m not an acronym hater. I work in a field where acronyms are everywhere. I don’t have a problem with using a little bit of the shorthand for casual writing. The same thing goes for lazy grammar and punctuation - in some cases.
Here’s where I have a problem. I don’t want to have to decrypt my text messages. I’m an adult, FFS. I don’t think it’s cool. I mean, really, does it take that much longer to type/tap out a few extra letters and use a little bit of punctuation?
When it comes to message boards, blogs and the like, you’re conversing with other people through the written word. Your typed words are the only impression of you that the other people get. It doesn’t have to be formal, MLA-approved writing but when you use incorrect grammar, misspelled words, and inappropriate punctuation, you’re giving the impression that you’re uneducated or that you just don’t care. Of course, if that’s the impression you want to give, fine. Do that. Have fun.
The informal use of the SMS and lousy writing bothers me more than it should but that is my problem. I’m working on keeping my eyes from rolling as much as I can. What really, really bugs the shit out of me is when people take this casual approach to written communication and bring it into the workplace. I have a customer who can’t spell to save his life and who uses the teenage-like shorthand in official business. Um, dude? Spell check is your friend and, while you’re at it, is it really that much harder to type out message than msg? Cancelled, instead of canx?
I’m turning into a curmudgeon.
I’d like to go to a nice restaurant and not see people wearing shorts or hear them shouting. I’d like to fly somewhere and not see people decked out in their most worn-out sweatpants. I’d like to see people be polite and ask to be excused when they bump into you. I’d like for those damned kids to stay off my lawn.
I’d like for people to know the difference between your and you’re. I’d like for them to know the difference between to, too, and two. Is subject/verb agreement that hard?
Am I perfect? Nope. I don’t expect to be, either. I just see us all sliding down that slippery slope. It’s the accepted dumbing down of America where the intellectual folks are ridiculed and not caring is considered cool. It makes me sad.