Friday, August 01, 2008

Chat-Speak Takes Over The World

Am I showing my age? Really, young people today ...

Like Mary Kolesnikova in her opinion piece for the L.A. Times, I regard the invasion of chat-speak into our culture as more than a bit annoying:
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between a person LOLing and crying – but I am definitely weeping. The cause for my earth-shattering depression is an April 25 Pew Research Center study that polled 12- to 17-year-olds on their attitudes about writing. A heart-stopping 38% said they let chat-speak – such as LOL (for "laughing out loud"), ROFL ("rolling on the floor laughing"), BRB ("be right back"), TTYL ("talk to ya later") – slip into essays and homework.

Read Kolesnikova's entire piece here.

But honestly, much of the angst I feel about this is probably just my own resistance to change.

Chat-speak is the abbreviated form of English made popular by text messaging in which, due to the inefficiency of thumb-keyboards, less is definitely more when it comes to aggregate character counts.

Here are few examples for the uninitiated:


ASAP - As Soon As Possible
BBL - Be Back Later
BRB - Be Right Back
BTW - By The Way
CU - see you
CUL8R - see you Later
EZ - Easy
F2F - Face to Face
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
FWIW - For What It’s Worth
FYI - For Your Information
GG - Good Game
GTG - Got To Go
HTH - Hope That Helps
IAC - In Any Case
IIRC - If I Remember Correctly
J/K - Just Kidding
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO - In My Not-So-Humble Opinion
IMO - In My Opinion
LOL - Laughing Out Loud
NBD - No Big Deal
NRN - No Reply Necessary
OMG - Oh My God
OTOH - On The Other Hand
ROFL - Rolling On the Floor Laughing
THX - Thanks
TTYL8R - Talk To You Later


Certainly, technological adaptations mustn't be allowed to replace or ruin students' use of and mastery over standard written English. However, I have found that habitually abreviating words does in fact make text entry into hand-held devices like my Treo 650 PDA phone a whole lot faster and easier.

Times change. Technology advances. The march of progress continues.

IMHO it's really NBD.



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