These days it seems common to hear people decry the ever-growing usage of “text-speak” (like LOL, u for you, etc.). Presumably, the fear is that we’re losing our ability to communicate in a clear and comprehensible manner. We might end up like the poor dolts of Idiocracy. To those people, I say GTFO.
Language (and grammar) is there to make it possible for us to communicate effectively to one another; especially when trying to convey complex concepts that can’t simply be pointed to or acted out. It’s a way for us to bridge time and space in our communication. It’s fluid. Language changes more often and much more quickly than people seem to understand. And if your language doesn’t, then you’re speaking Latin.
Let’s face it: there is no definitive list of acceptable words and phrases etched into stone and handed down to a bearded man eons ago. Sure, there’s dictionaries and handbooks for grammar and writing, but these things get updated and altered all the time. The simple fact of the matter is that as long as a word or phrase or particular usage is understood between the people communicating, it’s a valid form of language. Our words are a reflection of our world – a snapshot of our time.
Of course, I’m all for preserving the snapshots of the past. And I welcome those who want to use words in ways that are currently considered antiquated, if they so desire. But for all the times I’ve sat here at my cubicle frantically texting “NEED U 2 CALL POLICE” while trying to avoid the prying eyes of my Robotic Employment Overseers, I don’t think I’m speeding up the destruction of the English language. At times, an abbreviated word or even improper grammar can communicate a point just as effectively.
The bottom line is to realize that ‘the words they are a-changin’… there’s going to be new words adopted into the dictionaries, new usage applied to previous words and, yes, short-hand text when people can get away with it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to tweet this sexted pic of a cougar in jeggings to u. TTFN.