Thursday, August 6, 2009

Texting/Writing: TOATLT (Tired of All The Lazy Typists)

This article1 highlights one of the petty/little things that annoy me--people that abbreviate excessively, especially in a manner similar to text-messages, even when the writing is more formal.

You know--LOL (laughing out loud), BFF (best friends forever), WRUD (what are you doing), blah blah blah.

You know what I call it? LTBLP (Lazy Typing By Lazy People).

What really irks me--frankly, I dislike seeing that even in text messages, but you see it everywhere, even in more formal writings, even in places where you're not limited to 140/160 characters. Letters, emails, online postings--some teachers have even reported seeing it littered all over the place in formal term papers.

Enough already.

Call me an old-fogie who "doesn't understand" or "is from the dark ages," but where I come from, you spell your words out. You do so because it makes you easier to understand, you're not placing a burden on your recipient to have to do any unnecessary work figuring out what you mean--and also, because it's just respectable, and juvenile to do otherwise.

One should take pride in knowing how to spell something correctly--that's what spelling bees are for, with children--and using proper grammar, etc. What is an education for, anyway? Why educate yourself to a collegiate level but then dumb yourself down to the level of a 3rd grader with your language & writing mannerisms?

I admit to being un-mainstream here. I spell out my words, even when text-messaging (granted, having a Palm Treo or Blackberry, with a full keyboard, makes it easier). I even capitalize the 1st word, I use the apostrophe, and I put a period/question mark etc at the end of my sentences. In other words:

Other people type: what r u doing 2day cant u cm ovr
I type: What are you doing today, can't you come over?

Yes, even in text messages, I do it like that, "all-the-way"--the first-word capitalized, the comma in-between, the ' in can't, and the question mark at the end. I do likewise with my emails--I receive emails all the time from people who abbreviate all over the place like that, never capitalize anything, mis-spell half their words, and they act like it doesn't matter a wit.

I think it's just plain lazy and tacky. I would never pick a fight or degrade someone over it, but I do think it's, at the least, sloppy and "dumbed-down" writing.

I do understand such things as, say, NASA, VCR, DVD, CD, A/C (for air conditioner), NASCAR, MSNBC, torn ACL (the common sports injury). I have no qualms with the use of acronyms with things of that nature. And don't even ask me what the heck "radar" means (radio detecting & ranging, maybe?). Those I understand, and use all the time myself.

But when someone says "My MIL [mother-in-law] came over and gave my DH [dear husband] a recipe for cake, and I shared it with my BFF [best friend forever] Pam," I'm sorry, I'm thinking--where do you work at, Irene's fish market? Did you not take any English and writing classes past the 3rd grade? Do you have any typing/word processing classes in your entire educational career? If you have, what was the point, if you're going to dumb-yourself down like that?

It makes me want to be an English teacher. I would immediately flunk any papers turned in written this way. Some teachers do this, and I applaud them. I know every student would call me an "old fogie from the 80s," so be it--but I believe in proper English, grammar, spelling, and yes--freedom from stupid acronyms like WRUD (what are you doing), especially in formal writing. Enough already. You're above the age of 7, talk like it, quit making yourself look dumb & lazy in your writing, it's undignified and unbecoming.

1Learning To Text. Source: Wall Street Journal

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