Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why SMS lingo irks me

Ppl hu cnt b bthred 2 type prply do nt dsrve 2 be rd..

It took me at least five whole minutes to type in the above lingo. I detest it. Period.

The common arguement given for the usage of such deplorable language (sorry, it cannot be anything else) is that

1. The 'Older Generation' usually has a problem with it. But younger generation is okay.
2.It saves time 
3.It saves money.
4.It is how everyone types and who types whole words anyways.
5.It is no big deal. What is the harm if you use it? Why fuss over such a thing?

Allow me to elaborate on why the above are  invalid statements.


 It is not because of age that people have a problem with butchering words. It is because you care about the language. I know many twenty year olds and many teens as well, who think it is just 'not cool' to use wrong spellings. (Thank God for such people.)

 I cannot for the life of me, imagine, using 'thout' for 'thought' or 'thinkin' for 'Thinking'.Are you going to save tonnes of money by typing that extra letter? At the most your message would run into three texts instead of two.


To me it is irritating because misspelled  words  jar on my eyes.
 Also, the more you use it and the more you see it being used or the more you read it, the  greater are the chances of it becoming an unconscious habit. There have been so many reports in the media  not only in India, but also abroad, about how SMS lingo is creeping into answer sheets too. Students use 'btwn' instead of writing 'between' and many more such words are being distorted, maimed.

Welsh Journalist John Humphrys asserts that 'sms lingo' or 'textese' is essentially lazy  and sloppy behaviour. It simply results in eventual ignorance of proper grammar and punctuation. In other words, it just makes you stupid.

I tend to agree strongly.

If I am sparing time to text a person,  then the person is important for me. If the person is important enough, I think that person deserves a proper message. A message typed hurriedly in textese just doesn't cut it for me. And now with the auto complete option in all phones as well as the built in spell-check, there is really no excuse too.

And it is not just texts. I am also talking about such lingo being used  on Instant messengers on smart phones, on the social media, on chats, on e-mails. In short in every online media of communication.

When I get messages or mails or Facebook comments typed in SMS lingo or textese I cringe. To me it spoils the pleasure of reading.
95% of the time I do not read them and just delete them.

Yes I am that finicky.

I do spend at least 16 hours of my day with words. I live with them, I breathe them, I string them together and create complete new worlds with them.

So  the least you can do, as a favour to me is, give me whole words and proper words. Please.

I would consider half eaten, butchered words an insult.

N ys, if U wanna  txt ur frnds usg sms lingo i dnt mind at al jus lv me out of it. ;-)
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27 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you :)
    I being a student has never used such language and its really a pain in the eyes to actually read whatever the person wants to convey!

    A new member in your Blogger Family
    Jasmine

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  2. I agree with you. I use lingos when twitter doesn't allow me much character to type. But other wise I do not use it.

    I was one of those lazy students before when I was in my 12th. My answer sheets had more striking than answers. Its hard to get rid off it.

    Sometimes I too never reply to any texts which has these alien language. Oh I could not get the last sentence till I read it 5 times. :)

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  3. ""SMS lingo is creeping into answer sheets too...Students use 'btwn' instead of writing 'between' ""

    it happened many times with me too & also i used to write becoz my lecturer mark it with his red pen & write the correct speeling over it while giving the ansher sheets they used to give ne weired looks & i used to laugh a lot while checking out . thanks a lot you remembered me some good memories of my college days

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  4. I completely concur! I am glad I never got into the habit of texting....till today...it has spared me largely from reading such crap!

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  5. Loved it.I so agree! I, most of the time, cannot infer these lingos and so I despise them. Also each time some texts me in such a way, I feel like the words are being cruelly murdered. And it is not even a tiny bit cool for sure.

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  6. :)I can't imagine anyone writing in any of our indian regional languages would dare to use this sms lingo.The meaning of the word will change with every letter missed :p :D

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  7. Loved it..! Though am an ardent fan of such language I limit it to select friends. I guess it depends on whom you are sending it to. I can’t imagine my boss/senior in office appreciating a mail in such lingo.

    I would love to know where you get all these creative ideas for your blog. I started reading them a month back and I was tempted to go back in time and read all your blogs from the start. And am happy I gave in to the temptation.

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  8. Impressive... Even I feel the same and use to reply my friends as "Lazy Buggers" who sms me in such lingo... It has become a common habit for especially students these days to use such script even in their exams... Hope this generation realizes the true value of grammar and punctuation.

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  9. The writer save time in these but the reader needs time. Interesting!

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  10. "SMS lingo creeping into answer sheets" - I completely agree on that. Many times i have myself got into that habit. That's when i stopped using the short forms in SMS and till date i type complete words, even though my friends make fun of it.

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  11. While I agree that this trend is irritating to say the least, this is simply the way languages develop. English is incredibly adaptable to change and that's why it has flourished. We wouldn't be able to read Shakespeare's original - it would be difficult to understand a word and if somebody from that vintage were to read today's impeccable English, he wouldn't understand either. The problem is that the pace of change has rapidly accelerated and its now mutating in decades rather than centuries.

    I will never adopt SMS lingo, but I suspect to our children, that will be the normal language and maybe our English will be as esoteric and unintelligible as Shakespeare's.

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  12. Soon we will be going back to the old days of communicating with signs...easy way out :) people are becoming lazier by the day...grrrr!!
    (see, me not lazy ;)...hahaha)

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  13. Oh Preethi!! Are you talking about me by any chance?! Uhh!Though I am a mom of three kids,I still do that...I know it sucks,yeah! big time..but still do that sometimes..Seems like its time for me to stop before my nine year old gets into the habit!

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  14. Yes you are very right:) most of the time when i am working or if i am upto something i donot attend calls i use sms to talk to my friends and yeah this sms lingo is sometimes very annoying for example if something important has to be conveyed and if it is conveyed in sms language and if people type in this sms lingo and expect me to reply promply it is very annoying and again as you rightly said one is not going to save tonnes of money by typing one or two letters extra..The excuses they mention are very lame ones.i couldnot believe my eyes the other day when i saw this lingo in a resume and so was manager very shocked as well..

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  15. Can you beat this - I received such an encrypted message from a candidate who had applied for a job at our place and I was taking the interview. It took me 10 minutes and 3 people's help to understand what that candidate wanted to tell me :D

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  16. Rightly said! SMS lingo sucks! :/

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  17. True, I too get lost when something arrives in SMS lingo but I agree with Ramesh that the pace of change has increased.

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  18. How true Preeti!
    My friends have a habit of typing like this and I'd rather delete the text or not reply, than spend my time cracking the code, understanding it and finally replying! I tend to text in full language with proper punctuation and sometimes people do think I'm a freak who needs to be laughed at. But in my head, I know who really is the clown :D

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  19. Very well said Preeti! It irritates me immensely and out of irritation I wrote an article and I’m happy that it got published in Woman’s Era Magazine. Completely agree with you and I really liked this post!:)

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  20. Totally agree. Using auto-complete one can type any message very easily. Even this one is being typed using auto-complete in a smart phone.

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  21. Sourabh: yes! :)

    Tarang: If you share a link I will be happy to read it.

    Aaekay: I guess I am a freak too :) Let's form a freaky club :D Welcome :)

    Bala: I don't know if pace has increased as many i know do not use it.

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  22. Leonardo: :-)

    Jyotsna: :) A resume in that lingo! That takes the cake! :)

    Me: why didn't you reject him/her straight away? :P

    Shehnaz: I don't know, i am anal about it!

    Chandni: True!

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  23. Ramesh: You are very right about language evolving but if that ever happens, I being 40 already,would be dead and gone :) So I guess it is okay to not adapt :)
    And even though I criticized the sms lingo so much, I still use emoticons like this! :)

    Shannu: :)

    Jnyandeep: Didn't get that.

    Krishna: I don't know, I am a purist and a grammar Nazi.

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  24. Seeba: I just write whatever is uppermost in my mind that day. Thank you for reading! :)

    VPP: So right!

    lifeinside: I cringe too.

    Shachi: yes :)

    Phanikumar: It is hard to break once it becomes a habit.

    Jasmine: thank you for commenting and welcome aboard! :)

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  25. I'm so glad that you want to read that:) Here is the link: http://tarangsinha.blogspot.in/2012/05/article-published-in-womans-era.html

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  26. I realize this reply is coming almost a month after the post. Usually I read your blogs in spurts as I do not follow them regularly. I found this one particularly interesting and was very tempted to put in my 2 cents.
    I actually do not believe that using "Textese"( I din't know that's what its called!) is equivalent to butchering the language. It is like a lot of other forms of "lingos" (which isn't an English word either!) that have come into being off late. One doesn't have to like it or agree with it. However, to say that using textese is being lazy or miserly is a bit much. Especially with college students. Yes it does go into one extra text and that one extra text isn't much when it is just one so to speak. It is however equivalent to a meal or a litre of petrol when multiplied by some 50 friends. Studies show that an average student sends about 200 texts a day. That is a lot of money in one extra text. :)
    I believe that your point of view is definitely one school of thought. There is however another one that believes that textese has enhanced the way people pick up languages and it shows how far our minds can be stretched to be able to understand even incomplete words (I'm sure you've seen enough such forwards on facebook!).
    All in all, I think it is a creative way to play around with words; a new branch of English not unlike "Hinglish" so to speak. Requesting someone not to text in a certain way is like asking someone not to use slang or mix words of other languages(which we ALL do!) while conversing. Having said that, I also believe that there is a time and place to use both slang and textese - a boss or a maybe an acquaintance, someone elderly who might have trouble with this language or even a friend who says that they don't understand this mode of communication (which is what I do sometimes when I don't get it or pick up the phone and call them).
    After all, in an age with freedom of expression who are we to say how one should or should not communicate. :)

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  27. SKVR: Thank you for your long and detailed comment. The last line of my post as well as the title says it all. I have no objection if people want to use it. But kindly leave me out of it!

    If people want to communicate among themselves using Hinglish, slang, texts, (incidentally lingo is indeed an English word, kindly google), I totally have no issues. It is entirely their choice. (I really cannot stand Hinglish too)

    It is like this: If I say i do not like brinjals, it is my personal choice! The point you are making in your comment is akin to saying 'But you cannot stop other people from eating brinjals. Brinjals are good for health and tasty'. :)

    And for the record I do not like people who hide behind online identities with a made up name, either. It's a personal quirk.

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