I want to say a few words about a trend that became prevalent with the advent of social media and about how — as a general rule — I choose to communicate like a semi-normal human being rather than relying on this social media trend.
The trend is the use of initialized phrases. You know what I mean: LOL, SMH, LMAO, BTW, ICYMI … whatever. I can’t remember ’em all.
What’s more, I am not at all nuts about other abbreviated word forms that appear on my Twitter text messages: plz and ur come to mind immediately.
I prefer to write in complete sentences, using actual words with real definitions that one can find in a standard desk dictionary.
Why mention this at all? I guess it’s because I fear we are bastardizing our language, turning this complex language called English into something not entirely recognizable.
It was bad enough that my journalism career contributed to the destruction of my penmanship skills. My fellow journalists out there know of which I speak. I was forced over many years to write as rapidly as I could to be sure I can publish the quotes accurately from the individuals who were doing the speaking.
The result was a gradual decline in penmanship … for which I received good grades when I was in elementary school. I once was proud of my handwriting. No more, man.
Social media have taken that destruction to another level.
I am somewhat active on social media. I use email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn mostly. I just want to resist the urge to type those silly initialized references to phrases I normally would write or speak, although I do understand the reason for their existence in the first place: Twitter allows only a few characters to generate a message, so these are space-savers.
Oh, this modern method of communicating. It drives me nuts.