Writing on forums
December 18, 2006 4:08am CST
I have noticed that many forums contain posts that use a strange kind of shorthand English that is commonly found in mobile phones 'txt' messages. This is quite puzzling, as a computer keyboard can be used with all fingers, unlike the keypad of a mobile that's already quite difficult to use if your fingers happen to be a bit too large for the tiny keys. So why is it that so many messages on forums are written with 'u' instead of 'you', or 'r' instead of 'are', to name just these two most common examples? Have people become lazy and inconsiderate towards their readers (a post with too many of those abbreviations can be quite difficult to read)? The basic rules of grammar and syntax are also all too frequently ignored, and it seems quite obvious that the written English language is most of the time butchered by native English speakers, whereas those who have another mother tongue tend to write the best English. In my view, there is only one type of written English (despite the minor differences between US and UK English), and "forum English" shouldn't be used, if only out of respect for the readers. Any thoughts on this?
18 Dec 06
I agree with you. I use it also the same way many times. Actually it has been experienced that people find it more convenient to use such short words to save time. Moreover it has become socially acceptable also. The person reading short words understand and can easily discern the meaning of that. This is what I feel. I agree that it is not correct form of the usage but since it has become socially acceptable so people keep on using it. You see only the intellectual person like you may raise an objection on this but the masses are not intellectual. It is only class which is intellectual. Majority is of common masses and not of classes. The intellectual person just sees such usage and passes a smile and finishes the topic. He does not bother. He may talk once a while to share his opinion as you have take the initiative. I admire your initiative. I also used to think like you but now I have also become the participant of the same race. I think there is no harm to be a member of the crowd sometimes if it makes others happier and we dont loose anything. This way on identifying some proper occassion we may present our opinion to them and they may agree also to that. If we straightforwardly carp and carp in such habit, It will be taken at amiss. Why to hurt the feelings of others just for such things which can be easily ignored.
18 Dec 06
To me, such way of writing is somehow indicative of the intellectual level of the writer. I people write in such a limited manner, they are most probably also limited in their thoughts. Expressing yourself clearly and concisely is to me evidence of an organised and cultured mind. But you're right, ignoring such messages is the best you can do to avoid the frustration of constantly reading such awful messages. :)
2 Jan 07
I have to admit two things. 1- I agree with you. I hate trying to read a post with all these single letters and numbers. It reminds me of the games my girls get on their happy meal boxes. 2- I do use some of these. Just 4 actually. LOL= Laughing out Loud ROTFLMAO= Rolling On The Floor Laughing My _ss Off OMG= Oh My God IMO= In My Opinion Why do I use these instead of typing them out. Lazy I reckon, I just have a habit of it from long ago. It saves me time is another reason. But I always figured these 4 are so small they shouldn't interfere with reading the rest of the post. I guess this bring me to once conclusion, I’m a hypocrite to some extent. But if it helps, again it's just these 4.