Friday, 6 January 2012

English Language???

Maybe I am getting old before my time or maybe it is my problems with dyslexia confusing me but I am really getting highly annoyed and frustrated and the use of the English language these days! Having discussed this with my colleagues in work and friends I appear to be fairly unique. I cannot be the only one!

This is nothing to do with political correctness because I am certainly not that! I am the first to admit my English grammar is not always the best. I mix up my tenses and me spelling is terrible (thank God for the spell checker). However I do feel that basic English is being lost. Being lost by what I would deem as fairly intelligent adults. By the term “adults” I mean older than me! I am not sure what I mean by “fairly intelligent”!

I have done a little research into this blog as I do not know a lot of what is said or communicated so I have had to speak in depth the friends and colleagues to make sure my information is correct. I have also used several social networking sites where a lot of what I am getting frustrated about seems to live.

Do not get me wrong I am not advocating going back to Shakespearean days where he would say: “How camst thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?” meaning basically: “How did you get here and where did you come from?” Throughout my research there are a lot of new ways of communication about. I think my particular distain is for abbreviations that are used. An abbreviation (from Latin brevis, meaning short, apparently) is a shortened form of a word or phrase. Usually, but not always, it consists of a letter or group of letters taken from the word or phrase. For example, the word abbreviation can itself be represented by the abbreviation abbr., abbrv. or abbrev. I think a lot of my annoyance is I have to think about what is it the person is trying to say.

My biggest problem is with the word: “LOL”, an abbreviation for laughing out loud, or laugh out loud. This is a common element of Internet slang. It was used historically on the Internet but is now widespread in other forms of computer-mediated communication, and even face-to-face communication. This is one of many acronyms for expressing bodily reactions, in particular laughter, as text, including acronyms. There are more emphatic expressions of laughter such as LMAO ("laugh(ing) my ass off"), ROTFL "roll(ing) on the floor laughing") or ROFL ("roll(ing) on [the] floor laughing"), and BWL ("bursting with laughter"). I have got to point where it really gives me utter distain every time I read or hear it and think the person using it is not very clever and should go back to school!

I shall tell a little story now about the word “LOL” now. I was in a ‘quiet’ carriage on a busy train coming back from a day out somewhere a few months ago. Now this carriage was very quiet and a lot of people were stood up. I was unfortunate enough to be one of the people stood up. I was not being noisy but I happened to be standing up close to a lady that was sat down and she was sending a message on her mobile phone. This lady was middle aged, well dressed and looked like she was returning home from an important job or meeting in London. The carriage was very quiet and I happened to glance down to her mobile telephone. I happened to notice she had entered the word “LOL”! Well she did not “Laugh Out Loud”! If she had the whole carriage would have heard. So not only terrible at English, showing a lack of education, but she was also a liar! I did not say anything but it made me think how my first impressions had obviously wrong. I may have been over reacting to three little letters but it does seem to be a little lazy and give the impression of “idiot”!

There seems to be a lot more abbreviations coming into everyday speech. I lot of the time I do know what they mean! For example:
JK – Just Kidding
BF – Boy Friend
GTG – Got To Go
BRB – Be Right Back
CLAB – Crying Like A Baby
FB – Facebook

I also received HNY in an email from a top solicitor the other day (Happy New Year)!

In my day we only really had six I can think of:
PTO – Please Turn Over
ASAP – As Soon As Possible
RIP – Rest In Peace
PDQ - Pretty Damn Quick
DIY – Do It Yourself
RSVP – Répondez S'il Vous Plaît

I am aware that certain companies and industries use abbreviations more than others. In my girlfriends profession she has a list of over 700 that she refers to regularly in the course of her job. However when they appear in everyday speech it tests my patience slightly. I do wonder if it just people being lazy?

There are some new ways of communication I do not mind. For example emoticons: An emoticon is a pictorial representation of a facial expression using punctuation marks and letters, usually written to express a person's mood. Emoticons are often used to alert a responder the mood of a statement, and can change and improve interpretation of plain text. This is a list of commonly used emoticons that I know about:

Smiley or Happy Face >:] :-) :) :o):] :3 :c) :> :}
Laughing, Big Grin >:D :-D :D 8-D x-D X-D =-3 8-)
Very Happy :-))
Frown, Sad >:[ :-( :( :-c :-< :< :-[ :[ :{
Wink, Smirk >;] ;-) ;) *-) ;-] ;^)
Surprise Shock >:o >:O :-O :O :O 8-0

There is also some picture made up of characters that I think are very cleaver and can be very sweet:


There is also SMS language that is also known as txt-speak, chatspeak, txt, txtspk, texting language, txt lingo, txtslang or txtslang. It is a term for the abbreviations and slang most commonly used due to the necessary shortness of mobile phone text messaging, in particular the widespread SMS (Short Message Service) communication protocol. SMS language is also common on the Internet, including in email and instant messaging. It can also done using pictures and single letters or numbers to represent whole words (e.g. "i <3 u" which uses the pictogram of a heart for love, and the letter u replaces you).

Some rules that I can find and do not overly mind:

Single letters can replace words: be becomes b, see or sea becomes c, okay becomes k or ok, are becomes r, you becomes u, why becomes y and oh becomes o.

Single digits can replace words: won or one becomes 1, to or too becomes 2, for becomes 4 and ate becomes 8.

A single letter or digit can replace a syllable or phoneme: to or too becomes 2, so: tomorrow becomes 2mro or 2moro, today becomes 2day. For or fore becomes 4, so: before becomes b4, forget becomes 4get. Ate becomes 8, so: great becomes gr8, late becomes l8, mate becomes m8, wait becomes w8, hate becomes h8, date becomes d8 and later becomes l8r or l8a. And becomes &, thank you becomes 10q, thnq or ty.

Combinations of the above can shorten a single or multiple words: your and you're become ur, someone becomes sum1, no one becomes no1, anyone become any1 or ne1 and for you becomes 4u.

In conclusion after writing this I have decided that I may just be a bit old and grumpy because I do actually like some of this new way of speaking and do actually find some of it clever.  A great message I was once sent after a football team: Manchester United scored eight goals against an Arsenal team that scored two was:

I’d h8-2 b an Arsenal fan!

This made me laugh out loud but I would NEVER say LOL!!!

                Some people       (    )
          come into our lives     )   /
              and quickly go..     (_ /

                      (    )      Some people
                       \  (        become friends
                        \_)       and stay awhile...

             leaving beautiful      Oooo
             footprints on our     (    )
                       hearts...         )   /
                                            ( _/
                       (    )      and we aren't
                        \   (
                          \_ )      quite the same
                                    because we have
                                      made a good

       (\        /)
       (  \  _ /   )
        (  \( )/   )
       (   /  \   )    TAKE THIS LITTLE ANGEL
        ( / \/ \ )   AND KEEP HER CLOSE TO YOU
         /      \    SHE IS YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL
        (        )    SENT TO WATCH OVER YOU

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you are going to like this, but the examination board, at least in Scotland, previously thought of as a bastion of excellence in education - YOU KNOW IT! is considering allowing txtspk as a recognised language form. Even in the subject of English! This offends me to the point I'm speechless, and that does NOT happen often! Honk! Honk! ''L.O.L. smiley face'' (direct quotation from Megamind)