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Words don’t come easy

By July 6, 2015July 22nd, 2015Language

Let us make a list shall we folks. lol. pmsl. lmao. brb. btw. rofl. And many many more. There are, of course, hundreds more to which I have no idea as to the meaning of. They baffle me. Just a random mix of letters that I stare at for hours on end trying to work out what they could possibly mean. Take for example, Bi5, I saw this the other day. Bi five! What did that mean? Was it some sort of weird sexual gathering limited to just five people? Was it the successors to the Power Rangers? In the end I had to resort to that bastion of knowledge, Google, the refuge we all seek when intellect grinds to a halt. It turns out it means back in five. Well by the time I had found out what it meant the sender was indeed back and bombarding me with more secret code.

I am, obviously, referring to text talk. That bastardisation of the English language. It is everywhere, it is seeping it’s way into our subconscious without us realising. The youth of today are corrupting us with appalling grammar. But let us consider for a while, is this laziness? Is it a get out clause for badly educated kids who can’t spell? Is this the young of today imprinting there own social culture on us all? This remains, largely, limited to the written word. God forbid if people started talking in these acronyms. You wouldn’t be able to tell who had suffered from a stroke and who had not, such would be the weird noises produced. The ancient Egyptian’s written language was mainly symbols. They didn’t speak that way, it would be impossible. Is this so far removed from today’s text talk? Language evolves, nobody writes or talks as Shakespeare or Chaucer used to pen their words, it’s still English but we have moved on. Maybe we are witnessing the next stage of the written word. These things creep up on us, they take over without us realising.

So, if we accept that we must get used to it. What really bugs me about all this random prodding to produce unfathomable sentences is the way that they blatantly lie. Lol, for example. It’s everywhere, it is tacked on the end of most comments and texts that bear only the slightest hint of humour. You are never laughing out loud, be honest. Oh what a happy world this would be if people burst into spontaneous laughter with every message they received. It would be like the day room in a mental asylum, people curled up in unstoppable mirth at everything they read. Pmsl, well, where to start. If urine began to trickle down your leg on a regular basis this is not something to advertise. Get to Boots and stock up on Tena ladies. I have yet to see folks squelching down the street in soaking jeans, leaving damp footprints and the faint smell of ammonia. You don’t piss yourself laughing, if you do, for Christ sake, please keep it a secret, I don’t want to know!! Rofl, no, you don’t, imagine the injuries. People dropping to the floor and rolling about randomly, we don’t all attend southern state churches. Lmao. Really? Now that is a serious trauma, it will require many hours in surgery to reattach, that is, if you haven’t perished from blood loss first.

It doesn’t only stop at these acronyms. Words have now become shorter, replaced with single letters or numbers. You now becomes u. To now becomes 2. Mate now becomes m8. Dyslexia is apparently becoming more common, what a surprise. The fine gentlemen at Bletchley Park who broke the Enigma code would be buggered when faced with today’s texts.

What are we to do? Do we encompass this new variation on our language and roll with it. Do we keep the generation gap and leave it to the “yoofs” to confound us? I am not sure I am ready to “mt wiv u n hav a cfe n a cht.” I am certainly not in the camp where I am prepared to urinate freely whilst writhing about on the pavement, desperately trying to reattach my buttocks. I take a certain pride in grammar, spelling and punctuation ( although, at times, it does fail me), so I shall continue spending half an hour to send a text whilst a teenager could have written a whole volume, albeit, unreadable. So on that note I shall “c u m8s n wsh u a gd day.”

A guest blog by Jake Mann, artist and writer. Kindly republished from reigncloudblog

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