20 Jul 2010

Wut u doing l8r

Wut u doing l8r. Can't wait to tell u bout JW. ROTFLMAO. Cya

What on earth is happing to our language? It started off with text (SMS) and then instant messaging. But now this shorthand is beginning to appear everywhere. It's not that I hate the lack of grammar and the spelling nightmare – who am I kidding, yes I do – but this need to abbreviate everything is destroying the richness of English.

Long considered the most diverse and expressive language in the world, English is being abused and corrupted in our haste to express ourselves faster. (I argue though the amount of time it takes to translate ROTFLMAO when you read is actually slower than reading the actual words).

My youngest brother grew up in the IM era (I did not) and has no trouble at all sending me long and complicated digital messages in shorthand. I struggle through them and get the idea, but I miss the emotion and connection I get when reading something in "proper" English.

I'm not suggesting a return to Shakespearean prose, after all Claudio's cry "Done to death by slanderous tongue, was the hero that here lies" is not that easy to understand at first glance either. I fear however, that our eagerness to embrace this abbreviated communication style is eliminating words that by their very nature can not easily be bastardised. How can you possibly turn magnificence, glittering, torture or translucent into four-letter contractions? How do you express the real joy of watching your child take his first steps with "OMG was gr8." And how does "143" really tell someone the depth of your feelings?
wot d hell

Michelle Walkden

Communications consultant

So, who’s JG Communication? We’re Sweden’s largest and, we think, ‘leading’ communications agency in Sweden. We help our clients have conversations with the people that matter most to them using the tools that matter most to us, words, sound and vision.

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