I don’t know about you, but word shortcuts are not “totes adorbs.” Has our society really become so lazy that we can’t take the extra seconds to properly pronounce entire words? Unless you know the word shortcut language, it’s like you are being spoken to by someone in a completely different language.
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Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of LOL and FML, but when we start shortening phrases like ‘I love you’ to ILY, how do those three letters even come close to expressing our emotions the same way those three little words do?
According to an article titled “Social media speak: The 60 New Abbreviations That Are Dominating the Way Young People Communicate With One Another” posted on Australia Daily Mail online in July 2014, a linguistics professor stated that people use abbreviations as a speed tactic for texting, while other young people use it as a sort of code that older people cannot understand. I must fall into the older category because I think it just sounds ridiculous when people start using text speak as actual speak. What’s worse, college students sometimes use text speak in college assignments because they use it so often in their lives it has become second nature to them.
The article also mentions that this text speak is becoming so complex that if it is not sent with an explanation emoticon, the receiver sees a message that has no actual meaning. I am taking a free online history course about the ancient superpowers and, I have to say, I understand basic Egyptian hieroglyphs and cuneiform better than text speak.
Another article, titled “101 Social Media Acronyms and Abbreviations (And What They Mean!)” posted by StyleCaster, contains a list of the most popular abbreviations and acronyms on social media. This list includes universally known favorites like BRB, BTW, and JK, but they also mention crazy, out-there ones like FTFY (Fixed This for You) and even CNRHKYITF (Chuck Norris Round House Kick You in the Face). Who says things like that?
Still, another article titled “29 Terms We Obvi Need to Totes Elims From Our Lexi Forevs” discusses my main concern. Near the top of the article, a line sums up my feelings exactly. The beginning talks about the abbreviation “peeps,” which is tolerable, but leads the article’s writer to worry for the future of our language. “Because we’re destroying our language.”
I completely agree. People are so used to using these shortcuts and abbreviations, they are taking over their speaking language. It doesn’t sound trendy or cool to overhear one of these conversations.
It makes me shake my head (smh) and I figuratively see the language skills of these people going down the drain. Employers and professors are not impressed by these examples of laziness. This is the dumbing down of society.
Don’t let these text shortcuts make a home in your vernacular. If you don’t have time to text full words, wait until you do have time to.