When it comes to expressing opinions there is always the chance that I could stand on someone’s toes, but remember an opinion is simply that, an opinion. It’s not right or wrong. So yes, you are completely free to disagree with, or disregard anything I say (as usual).
This post has very little to do with the general theme of health that this blog runs by, except maybe to say that it is something that frustrates me, so possible tests my mental health. I’m wondering whether it does the same for you?
Apparently it is 20 years since the invention of texting, and I assume that ‘text speak’ came along shortly after. Twenty years ago I had one of those brick-like mobile phones for my job. The battery ran down on one short phone call and then took eight hours to charge. There was little chance of me being able to get into texting at that time.
That said, I hate text speak.
My opinion is that if you are under twenty and are texting hundreds of times in a day, then I guess the use of text speak might be justified… and if you’re over twenty and sending the occasional text, then fine. But my objection is that text speak has landed in everyday communication, especially over social media. Personally I find this unnecessary, and believe it is contributing to the loss of good language skills.
If you are under twenty, it maybe quick to text in text-speak but for the rest of us I suspect it is actually quicker to type the whole word than have to stop and think what the abbreviation is. And think about if you go to an on-line support page and are asked SWYP? It really sounds sincere, doesn’t it?
My next point comes with the backing of a university study, actually the university I graduated from (although I hasten to add that while my degree was not related to the English language). Apparently a study by the University of Canterbury has concluded that the use of text speak could cause brain strain. So there you go, my mental health is being affected by people’s use of text speak.
The study was looking at people reading texts while driving (obviously a dangerous activity). It found that it took longer to read a message in text speak than standard English, and so was therefore more likely to cause an accident.
I accept there is a place for some text-speak in limited places (other than texting) but it just gets to the ridiculous stage. Here’s one use of text speak I particularly object to:
sorry becomes soz
‘Soz’. (?!?!!?!) If someone needs, or wants to say sorry to me I would like to think they could struggle to add two more letters to actually form the proper word. I find it difficult to accept that much thought has gone into an apology if ‘soz’ is what I get. Surely we can be genuine and take the effort (if it is in fact an effort) to actually say what we mean.
wonderful becomes 1drfl
Here’s a free tip: if you want to tell me in writing that I’m wonderful I suggest you spell it out. It will be so much more effective.
welcome becomes welc
Again, surely if you want to welcome me, it would be so much more meaningful if you typed the whole word.
I could go on but I won’t. I know there are lots of controversies over the use of this style of writing, and it’s effect on the overall use of the English language. I know I’m not going to make an enormous difference to the world. I’m simply saying that it makes a difference to me if you actually make the effort to use the language properly.
I’m saying nothing new, just getting it off my chest. It’s good for my mental health.
PS. If you don’t know, SWYP stands for ‘so what’s your problem?’
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind