122.) The Manifesto on New Uses for Old Letters

Before I begin, I… hold on, brb.

All right, before I begin, I want to say that I very much dislike the abbreviation “brb,” along with all of its other “Internet speak” counterparts, such as “lol,” “roflmao,” and “hbu.” Why do you type that you’re laughing out loudAs a writer, I find difficulty in believing that this is what we’re coming to. Language is organic, always changing, but now it’s changing faster than it ever has before. In a single generation, with essentially a single invention, English has gone from long, tedious words like “thank you” to much simpler, easy-to-say words like “ty.” Wait, that’s not a word. That’s the company that made Beanie Babies. Personally, I think the point is very much defeated when you abbreviate a common courtesy to two letters. “Oh, wow, $2.4 million? TY!” See? Even capitalized and with an exclamation mark, it still sounds bad. If my long-lost step-uncle twice removed died under an asteroid and left me $2.4 million, I wouldn’t go to the reading of the will and say, “Hey, ty.” And I don’t think his will attorney would say, “Son, I’m sure if he were still on this earth, he would say yw.”

I’m sorry, were you making a point? I was too busy laughing to notice.

In my expert opinion – because I am an expert on my opinions – Interspeak makes the Interspeaker look uneducated. While I know that’s not true – hey, I just looked on Google, and both Interspeak and Interspeaker are actual things. Cool. Where was I? Ah, yes. While I know that Interspeakers are functionally illiterate, I still can’t feel bad for them. I mean, I may spend seven hours a day on Facebook, but I haven’t stooped to this level. Yet. Pray I never do. Did you know that Iceland has a 100% literacy rate? I wonder what the Internet’s literacy rate is?

Simply unacceptable. My talking bird could read Nietzsche at six months.

Abbreviations aren’t the only part of Interspeak. Punctuationcapitalization, and other nonessential parts of grammar are also going out the metaphorical window. In fact, they’ve been kicked out the metaphorical service entrance behind a small inner-city restaurant. Many a meme is founded on this concept. But the lack of capitalization of “I,” writing “and” for “a” (which I still don’t understand), and leaving out periods really annoy me. Here is a sample sentence:

“hi how are you..i am good. did you get teh mesage I sent u. its and really good message, i think ull like it? brb kk im back. u miss me…i did. hey guess wut im teaching english as a 2nd langage 2mrow bye!”

This has got to stop. I really don’t understand how people (ppl?) can get by writing like this. After writing that last sntence I think i may be succumbing to interspeak? ttyl! Mnfsto, OWT.

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5 responses to “122.) The Manifesto on New Uses for Old Letters

  1. Language is organic…. but so are humans. Complex life forms are always subject to aberrant and less than optimal specimens. I have noticed that whenever I see the English language being used well and correctly, it is almost always someone from a country other than the U.S. or Great Britain.

    • That’s a great point you bring up. There actually are reasons behind your astute observation. People who learn English as a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) language concentrate more on what they say or write in English, because they don’t want to be misunderstood. They also have the benefit of learning English deliberately, and not being brought up with it. Therefore, they use English more consciously than a native speaker. Native speakers, on the other hand, often pay little attention to how they speak and write, because they have the subconscious assurance that they will most likely be understood. Native speakers of any language speak and write with much less thought than those who had to be taught the grammar, spelling, and other parts of a language before they became fluent.
      There are opposing views on this, and it is also a VERY BROAD GENERALIZATION. Just making that clear. But, in many cases, this is the cause. My explanation may not be wonderful, but that fact may also be proving a point. I’m not sure.

  2. I think this all started with cellphones.. when texting, we were only allowed a certain amount of characters to make one message. So we abbreviated words to fit more conversation into one message. It started with cellphone-chat and should have stayed there. I don’t get why words should be abbreviated when typing.

    • Very true. The first text message I ever sent was in college, so maybe it’s just that I “wasn’t there from the beginning,” but I still don’t see why abbreviating things is so highly valued. (With the exception of my full name, which has as many letters as the alphabet.)

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