You know what I’ve been thinking about lately? The English Language.
In recent months there have been plenty of stories documenting the treacherous state of American newspapers. With dailies in major metropolises on the brink of collapse, some are not only questioning the economic viability of the newspaper business, but also the future of news gathering and reporting as a whole.
As scary as a world without legitimate print journalists would be, I, for one, am just as concerned about the future of the language that is the foundation of our written communication. You see, in recent years it seems a war has been declared on thought-out, well-rationalized sentences by those who engage in the use of the truncated shorthand that pollutes the texting and online worlds.
Look, I’m no stuffy English professor. I butcher the language on a regular basis (please continue reading this blog for examples of my misdeeds), but the atrocities of which I speak are far more sinister than a few mere grammatical mistakes brought about by an inferior public education. This younger generation’s preferred written style reeks of laziness and lives lived at too fast a pace for the use of actual words. And it annoys me more than neck tattoos.
If you’re not familiar with this gibberish, let me present you with an example of its awfulness. Take a simple message you might receive in an everyday email…
Hi there. What are you doing at the moment? Just checking. I always say a prayer for you. Just so you know. Laugh out loud. Talk to you later. Grandma.
Now look at that same information communicated in Moronglish.
HT. WRUDATM? J/C. IASAP4U. JSYK. LOL. TTUL. Grandma.
What the hell is that? That’s not English. It’s code. Code that tells people you’re an idiot.
Part of the reason I’m so upset about Moronglish is because I have to see so much of it up close. As part of my job, I’m required to monitor message boards and “user-generated” content on the internet. On a regular basis I read things written by people whose grasp of proper English is so poor they think “wot” or “wat” are acceptable ways of spelling the word “what.”
My sister, a middle school teacher, reports a similarly frightening trend amongst her students as they regularly use this bastardized English in their work. To them r, b and u are acceptable substitutes for the words they sound like and there’s no shortage of kids using the numbers 2 and 4 to represent “to” and “for.” When she calls them on this ridiculousness they simply claim she’s too old to understand their hipper, more modern form of written language.
See, I like to think of language as if it were music. Well-written prose is like a beautifully conducted symphony. Moronglish, on the other hand, is like punk rock. And not the good kind, but rather the crap made in a garage by a trio of douchebags who never took a single guitar lesson but insist that is the essence of their awesomeness.
Perhaps I’m the one in the wrong here. Perhaps this is the natural evolution of the English language. Perhaps I’m just an old fart who doesn’t understand this newfangled discourse in the same way that parents in the ’50s didn’t understand rock ‘n’ roll.
If that’s the case, I fear for the future (anyone else see Idiocracy???) and I guess I’ll just have to live the rest of my life being as uncool and unhip as a printed version of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Oh, well. LABATYD.