It started out innocently enough with text messaging. Suddenly, we all started to LOL with our BFF. We politely alerted people when we were AFK by announcing BRB. When asked, we IMO told people what we were thinking (yes, that haircut was a bad idea), and when someone ticked us off (which they inevitably do) we declared in our most exasperated way of typing WTF!
Then, this insidious habit of abbreviating everything started creeping into our spoken word. Suddenly things were just "gorg," teenagers thought your nagging was just "whatevs," and that gift you got for your birthday was "amaze!"
Have we really become this lazy? Are we at the point where we can't even trouble ourselves to say words that are more than one syllable? It's so frustrating; or should I say, it's so "frust."
As a writer, I am a fan of the English language. I love that you can use words to paint a scene, help people understand your point of view, or express any range of emotions from gratitude to sadness to utter despair.
I've long despised this shortening of words, and it began with my name, Karen. It's really not a complicated name, just two syllables and quite common. But for some reason, despite its simplicity, people always want to shorten it and call me Kar -- that just grinds my nerves!
The name shortening has been happening for years, and I've never ranted and raved about it, but with this new habit of shortening every possible word in the English language, I've had enough! I blame the Karadashians!
Every time I stumble upon one of their shows, accidentally of course, one of them is raving about how "incred" something is, or how "adorbs" their children are; I've even heard them exclaim, "this is just so...."
So what? Please, enlighten me! Is it so amaze? So adorbs? So incred? So ridic? The suspense is killing me!
I want to buy a Webster's Dictionary and ship one off to each family member with a note that says, "This is not a door stop; pick it up and read it! p.s. you are not 13, learn to speak!"
All of this abbreviation makes me wonder how kids are actually doing in school. Is all this abbreviated language hurting our children's ability to do well in school, master spelling, and learn the fine art of writing? For the answer, I consulted with a friend of mine who teaches English.
"Is it as bad as I fear?" I asked, hesitantly.
"It's worse." He replied.
For next half hour, he regaled me with tales of what it's like to be the "teach" and deal with kids who describe the works of Hemingway and Dickens as "dope."
"If I had a quarter for every time a student told me it was just 'whatevs' I could quit teaching and immerse myself in the classics where people actually utilized the English language."
My solution? Turn off the TV, unplug from Facebook, and put down your smartphone once in a while. I mean, does anyone else find it ironic that something labeled a "smartphone" is actually rendering us quite stupid?
Pick up a book, call a friend, or better yet, get off the couch and go see someone, in person. TALK TO PEOPLE! I mean, really talk. Share pictures of your adorable children, tell them about your favorite things, and remind yourself of how incredible it can be to connect with people face-to-face instead of screen-to-screen.
There, I've ranted and raved and now I'm done. I think I'll go pick up a book and get to reading. Hope you'll do the same.