Friday, 8 April 2011

Cn u txt me bck?

The late afternoon sun today has provided a welcome respite to the cut and thrust of daily trials and tribulations and I've managed to cut the grass and have a general tidy round. I even sat in the sun for half an hour and my goodness - it's warm. The Pieris 'Forest Flame' is absolutely magnificent with its new red shoots and white trailing flowers.

Now today's blog is unashamedly inspired by a BBC News Magazine Online article about Internet language. I've probably talked about this before sometime ago, but I'm fascinated by the argument that its devaluing the written language and making kids (and some of us) lazy in the way we communicate.

The furore was started by the acronym LOL being included in the Oxford English Dictionary. Now for me, LOL means 'laugh out loud,' meant to demonstrate a response. However, confusingly - and I've never used the acronym for this, it also means 'Lots of Love.' Imagine the hurt this caused when, as the story goes, a mother sent her son a message, "Grandma has passed away, LOL." I don't know if that's true or not, but you can see the confusion.

I hate acronyms because they make assumptions that you know what they stand for, but other phrases, like text speak has come into use in our communications, and I'm afraid I am also culpable. I often use 'Thx' for thanks for example in e-mails which require a one line informal answer rather than 'Dear Fred, Thanks you for your recent e-mail of the 7th inst." It's what most people expect these days. I occasionally stray on e-mails by using 'u' for 'you' - I use 'u' in texts.

Is the argument that as long as I know what you are talking about, it doesn't matter how I spell it? Does it demonstrate a lack of intelligence if I don't know the difference between where and were (I do by the way) or is it just laziness? I would no more think of using that kind of language in this blog than flying to the moon, but I wonder if it makes people so lazy that when it come the time for writing formal documents which we all have to do now and then, we actually can't remember the difference between 'their' and 'there' etc., or how to spell difficult words?

Jimmy Young, the long in the tooth ex BBC Radio disc jockey and one time pop singer used it many years ago: TTFN - 'ta ta for now,' and might even have been used in war time radio comedy show broadcasts.

Anyway, O2, AYK, as I'm SOT, and as I'm writing the SOS, I'm going to check if my SIC so I can say BFN.*

Chat soon

Ta ra!

*Anyway as I've had my two cents worth, as you know, I'm short of time, and as I'm writing the same old sh*t, I'm going to check my spelling is correct so I can say bye for now.


  1. Sing it brother ! I hate texting, both for the loss of language as well as for the loss of manners. For example, at a recent dinner with my sister she suddenly stopped in mid sentence (mine) to respond to her daughter via text. The emergency ? "Where is my coat ?" Her daughter HAD to know. At 18 she should know where her coat is. If not she can can outside without it. Really, how did folks our age ever make it past age 20 without asking everyones opinion on everything via texting ?!?!

  2. Don't mind people writing it. Takes a certain mental agility to covert back and forth between text speak and English. It's when they skip the conversion and speak in text that drives me crazy :)

  3. Are you well friend friend?

  4. Hi Wheelie
    Good thanks - life is hectic and busy - need to find time to slow it down a little, still the week after Easter week I've got off - so looking forward to doing a little more pottering and catching up with friends.

  5. Try this. Imagine a snowy woodland. It's a long way from the nearest town,and it's half way up a mountain, and summer never comes.

    When you can't sleep, build a place in your mind where you build a hut where a passing traveller can stay and be warm and comfortable and you can be proud you built it. It's not much, A lean-to. A couple of bunks. A pot belly stove.

    Tea in a pan and a hurricane lamp. And unexpected visitors. :)

  6. LOL: in my nursing days (20-plus years ago) LOL in a patient's notes was hospital-speak for Little Old Lady.

  7. Hi Wheelie
    A good meditation subject

    Hi Judith
    Excellent comment thanks, just shows how difficult or in your case, useful acronyms can be.