I h8 text speak

Yes, I’m a dinosaur. I realize this is the age of texting and tweeting, of cramming as much communication into as few characters as possible, but I detest it. Text speak is the bane of a proofreader’s existence (well, one of them, anyway). Why? Because new generations (and some of the existing ones) use that sort of shorthand almost exclusively, and it’s annoying.

OK, I get that tweets are limited to, what, 140 characters? I understand that you don’t want to type out a novel on a text message. But when you’re sending email communications, or even Instant Messaging on your computer, you don’t have the character constraints. Therefore, in this proofreader’s not-so-humble opinion, writing in text speak is sheer laziness.

I love to IM, and I realize that a person is sitting on the other end waiting for the next message. But seriously–does it really take that much longer to type “y o u” instead of “u”? Whenever I see the phrase “how r u?”, I automatically deduct points from my estimation of the writer’s IQ. Probably a┬ábit harsh of me, but there it is. And if they type “2″ instead of “to,” I deduct even more.

In this world of abbreviations and acronyms, people forget what the full words are and how to spell them. “Your” is a possessive. “You’re” is a contraction of “you are.” Hate to break it to you, but “Im” is not a word. It requires an apostrophe. You know, that curly little whatsit that so many of you have forgotten how to use properly.

I realize I’m just shouting into the wind here. But I love our language, even with all its idiosyncrasies, and I can’t stand seeing it butchered in this manner. If you’re 12, you get a pass. But if you’re an adult, you need to write like one.

Just for the record, I don’t loathe all IM/text acronyms. I’m known to use LOL and a few others. But “c u l8r”? Please. Or should I say “pls”?

Come on, people. Buck the trend. Say no to mediocrity. Spell out your words whenever it’s feasible. You’ll look smarter and folks like me will sprout fewer gray hairs.


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2 responses to “I h8 text speak”

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  1. Brian Casey says:

    Erica,
    I wholeheartedly agree! Some of these are teens who can’t even spell the actual words they are abbreviating (I’ve tested them)! I remember one who had used “plz” for so long he couldn’t spell “please” correctly.
    Eventually, I hope to be where you are. I recently quit my cramped job in a cubicle and am venturing forth in hopes of building a proofreading career. I have a lot to learn, but I love doing it! Fortunately my wife is an editor for several magazines and frequently sends work my way, but I have much to learn before I feel comfortable putting myself out there on a more professional level.
    I like your blog and will be checking in occasionally to see what you’ve added. Great website!

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