Posted by: laughs4dads | February 5, 2010

f Y Cn Rd Ths, U R a Tnagr

I fear for the English language.

When I was in college, I earned credits as an assistant teacher of freshman English.  I was shocked to discover how many college students seemed unable to write even a single sentence in standard English.

These days, teenagers can’t be bothered to complete even a single word.  Try to read a typical text message and it looks like nothing more than a string of vanity license plates: “GR8 D8 2NITE.  TTYL.”

I remember the first time I encountered this strange language.  I walked past Casey as she was IMing a friend.  (BTW, there I am contributing to the demise of English by using an abbreviation that has turned into a verb.  OMG, I just wrote “BTW!”)

Anyway, so Casey was IMing and I happened to glance at the screen and saw her type “POS.”

“What does that mean?” I whispered, as if the person she was IMing could hear me.

“‘Parent Over Shoulder,’” she replied.

Ah.  Guilty.

It was one thing when this highly abbreviated language was confined to the obviously time-crunched lives of teenagers.  Each nanosecond they save this way can be put toward more productive endeavors, like sleeping even later.

However, it wasn’t long before it seeped into the adult world, where efficiency is coveted much more than actual communication.

But how efficient is it really when somebody e-mails me that they need a project “EOD 2day” and it takes me until the end of the day to figure out that “EOD” means “End Of Day”?

And then there’s “k.”  According to dictionary.com, the origin of “okay” goes back to the 1830’s, when apparently illiterate people in Boston used “ok” as an abbreviation for “all correct.”

Okay.  Fast forward to the 1990’s, when it was decided that it would be so much more efficient to abbreviate the abbreviation to a simple “k.”  Is that really necessary?  How much time do we think we save in our entire lives by typing one letter instead of two every time we say “ok?”

If this keeps up, how long will it be before War and Peace is reduced to 35 pages?

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