‘Text speech’ is one thing many people will never understand. No I don’t mean we have trouble decoding the language; although that certainly is a problem for a lot of people. Rather it is difficult to understand why people can’t type the whole word or phrase without using an abbreviated version.
It is off putting for those of us who would like to have a conversation without the need to decode what the other person is saying. It happens on the phone or the internet. You instant message with a friend only for them to type ‘BRB’ because they need to check their Facebook or finish a game on Partypoker. ‘Be right back’ only has eight extra letters.
I know what you might think; “well, if you want a proper conversation, why don’t you just call them?” I would if so many of my acquaintances weren’t using text speech aloud too now.
For example, I said something supposedly witty the other day when I bumped into an old friend from school, and she actually said ‘LOL’. She didn’t ‘laugh out loud’ at all. She smiled and said ‘L.O.L’. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just laugh? What is the point in saying you are laughing out loud if in fact, you’re not? It made me wonder if she understood what she had communicated to me.
And people write in text speech so much nowadays that it bleeds through into their writing skills. You hear of many English teachers who complain about the slow deterioration of their students language. It is astounding, although not surprising, the amount of children who need reminding that they are supposed to write in proper English.
It’s obvious why we do it. It’s faster to use abbreviations than to type out the whole word, but in all honesty, does it really take that much time out of our lives to write in correct language? I fear there may be an entire generation in the making who will refuse to write in proper language because the alternative is easier. Let’s hope novelists and journalists don’t pick up the habit.