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Grammar vs. Text (& FBOF)

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You always hear news stories about how texting is dumbing down our teenagers and will someday replace the English language as we know it. I don’t see it that way. I think of them as two languages you can learn side by side, like English and French. Although, like anyone who knows two languages, the one you actually use the most will be the one you are more fluent in. That is part of why I write this blog.

Being out of work, I spend more time texting than writing emails of a professional nature. I try to write this blog in my own voice, while still trying to follow the basic rules of grammar. Does a smiley face sneak in sometimes (Why sure:) Do some posts have too many statements in parenthesis? (Definitely.) But I do generally consider myself a stickler for good spelling and grammar.

But, having texted, I totally understand the need for as much abbreviation as possible. It is necessary for speed, space-saving, and it saves your thumbs. Also, you have to realize I am not a part of the core texting generation. While kids today can type something like “OMGMMISL*” and totally understand each other, texting in my generation is a little different. My asbestos friend and I use texting as a substitute for phone calls and a more immediate version of email. I would love to call her and have long meaningful chats. But as we both have children between the ages of 11 months and 18 months, that seems a little improbable. And the signal at her house sucks.

We also have silly thoughts throughout the day that are better conveyed by text. But we are limited to how much we can abbreviate and still understand each other. Hence, our message often takes two or three texts to fully convey. I am thinking teenagers don’t do that. My friend and I only have abbreviations for things like Meijer (mjr), Wal-Mart (wmrt), and flaming butt of fire (fbof). My friend’s daughter coined the term “the flaming butt of fire.” (What is “the flaming butt of fire”? If you have to ask, honey, you have never had it!)

So, I believe, if actual writing is balanced with the actual English language, civilization will b ok a lil longer;)

* “Oh my God my Mom is so lame.”

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One response »

  1. FBOF makes me giggle and cringe. I really hate it when that happens. I agree with your “two languages” assessment. I find, though, that it can sometimes be tricky when switching between them. Especially if I’m texting a lot while typing something in “longhand.” Then, unxpctdly, i sddnly swtch w/o evn realizing ive done it.

    Reply

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