I HATE Chat Speak

We all have things that irk us; little things that get under our skin and stay there and if it’s a word or speech pattern uttered by someone you’re not all that crazy about, then everything is amplified and exacerbated.

I am made absolutely insane by chat speak or text shorthand and I am extremely bothered by the incessant use of the words like, dude and awesome.

What you are about to see in the cartoon below is just how insane crazy things have become.

Behold…

.

When I hear it spoken, my reaction is visceral…as in I have to leave the room to avoid retching.

Let me get something straight–I am flawed and incredibly IMPERFECT. I know I do things that make people crazy. But we’re not talking about me here. And likely if these things makes me crazy, these things make at least a few other crazy, too. I should also mention that I really don’t like this newfound intolerance, but se la vie. It’s my reality.

Perhaps it’s part of the aging process–I’ve never been this old before and I’m noticing that things bother me that never phased met before. I’m more sensitive, more easily annoyed and I dislike it immensely.  But if it’s any consolation, my intolerance has less to do with people and almost everything to with their behaviors.    And by behaviors, I’m talking about things that can make me strip naked and run down Interstate 10 screaming at the top of my lungs while burning myself with cigarettes.

I want to do that when I read “LOLOLOL“.

Really please, for my sake, just go completely juvenile and type or write out, “Hahaha”. I’d prefer that . Or here’s a novel idea: just allow the 2.38 seconds it takes to communicate that something was/is in fact, funny!!!!

Is your day that busy and jam packed with important tasks like monitoring NATO troop movement in the Azores to write or type out the the words “that was funny”????

I think not.

“ROFL” also makes me wanna shop retail. I mean, let’s take a look at this phrase from a literal standpoint: is anyone ever really laughing to the point where he or she is actually “rolling on the floor”? Especially if said lunatic isn’t on a Lithium drip and/or hasn’t been institutionalized?

I’m not a fan of “Brb”, “TY” and “YW“, either. You’re not that busy, you’re not that harried–type out the damn words!!!! OMG and OMFG are also big in text or chat speak and big, big, big in making me cringe.

Awesome” is a great word, but when the youngsters use it interchangeably as a noun, a verb, an adjective and a superlative is just nuts. The fact that so many people use it to describe everything from an incredible last second end zone TD catch to a bowel movement, it looses something in the translation.

The newest crazes, “epic fail” and claiming that people have Ninja skillz–and spelled with a “z” thank you, are also rapidly climbing my annoyance charts.

I’m not a fan of emoticons or attempts to make your own emoticons with combinations of punctuation:

The smiley face: 🙂

The sarcastic wink: 😉

The asshole: ( * )

Those are bad enough, but what about a man or woman above a certain age who addresses everyone as “Dude”? And I mean everyone is referred to as “Dude”–genitalia, not withstanding.

If this is you, you have no idea how ridiculous you sound.

While the above items are offensive audio and visual hemorrhoids, nothing can induce rectal pain worse than the teen or 20-something who uses “like”, 86 times in a brief, two minute expanse of a conversation, if you can even call that a conversation. I cannot communicate with these people and in radio, they’re everywhere. Essentially, I work with youngsters. They “speech” it with every breath. I’ve actually prayed for inner ear infections–ANYTHING to keep from hearing this emanating from the cubicles around me.

In some ways, I can forgive these youngsters for the use of “like”, but older women??? Especially if they’re 35-plus year of age?

This is an excerpt of a conversation I recently overheard at work. The source? A 45-year old professional woman:

“And I’m like yeah and he’s all no and I’m like soooooooo not happy and she’s all pissed and then he’s like “Yeah, I’m hungry and all that” and so she’s then all like “OK. Whatever”.

.If you

If you REALLY want to plunge the knife into my soul in order to mortally wound it, use “like” 100 times in one sentence, then finish it off by adding an “S” to the word “anyway”.

As in “anyways”.

For the last time, anyway is spelled with no “S”. And some people in my life do this and they really should know better.

.

KILL ME NOW!

So in closing, here are a few texting combinations that are new on the chat speak front. In my unwavering attempts to be inclusive, I’ve included them here:

BRBINTPBOARTPUA: “Be right back. I need to pee, then I’ll come back but only after reading this pop up ad”.

ROTFLBOTAPMFPOMAWEFITTCIOOCDHISB: “Rolling on the floor laughing because of that Anthrax prank my friend pulled on me and what’s even funnier is that the clinic is out of Cipro. Dude…he is SO busted.”

FTLOGPSQJQA: “For the love of God, PLEASE stop quoting John Quincy Adams!!”

HHAYCRI!!IRA60-YOMWLMBPTBATGBMGOEIRA: HA HA all you chat room, idiots! I’m really a 60-year old male with large man breasts pretending to be a teenage girl, but my genitalia–oddly enough–is also remarkably ambiguous.”

JTRIMHOAOARNIRTDTTOAS: John Tesh RULEZ in my humble opinion and on a related note, I refuse to debate the talents of Air Supply.”

WHIEHOACHF…EWYPHHAIQBT!!!BTWIMUWYUIA: Well honey, it’s either herpes or a clogged hair follicle…either way, your personal hygiene habits are in question; Big Time!!! By the way, I’m breaking up with your unclean, infected ass.

DORPBTBHV?WIGTDPFBKOCNWAM?WIHPR?NHAGLGBHA
MTIGIWBBYBOJBHS!! OMG–LOLOLOLOLOL: Did Obama really pick Biden to be his Veep? Well, I’ll give the dude props for being kind of cute. Now, what about McCain? What if he picks Romney? Now, he’s a good looking guy but he’s a Mormon! Brigham Young…Brigham Old, just Brigham someone!! Clinton–that’s hilarious.

•••••••

Seriously, it’s just about gotten that stupid.

Now look, I know one or more of you smart asses out there will think it cute and/or clever to leave me a comment that’s rife with all of these “expressive cultural vernacular” and emoticons that I so love.

But I offer this warning…

You do, and as God as my witness, I’ll kill the comment, then I’ll hunt you down–this is no idle threat. I’ll hunt you down, oh yes I will and I’ll disparage your family by dating your father, uncle, brother or your son. Then, I’ll enter your house at night and soil your living room carpet multiple times ONLY after gorging myself on urine-essence altering asparagus.

.

32 comments

  1. Woohoo, Go Laurie! I’m with you on this one. It’s just laziness as far I’m concerned. Bloody young people today, I don’t know, back in my day we had to write everything out by hand using sticks we called ‘pens and pencils’. They don’t how good they got it.

  2. my kids went through phases using scripted language. along with LOL, they would sign off with BFF. WAZUP and BRB were popular, too. i think the language was made up so the adults couldn’t understand what they were writing about. now these kids are texting on their cell phones. i don’t know. guess i am too old to understand. they are talented about it, too. they seem to know how to drive AND text at the same time. so dumb and stupid.

  3. I took my 17 year old daughter school shopping yesterday. While we are walking the mall she is texting. Why in the hell can’t they talk to each other on the phone. I was crazy by the end of the day. One of her friends met us at the mall, do you think he could of called to find out where we were? Hell no, he and Kelsey text back and forth until they found each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I was watching a show once where the girl said “OMG” out loud. I thought my head would explode from being exposed to all that stupidity. I have now boycotted that show, network, and actually most of cable television altogether.

    That was hilarious.

  5. “Walmarts?” That is so, like, stupid. I am also hugely hacked off by the words “idear” and “aks” (instead of “ask”). But supposebly “idear” is a real word–haven’t checked it out on dictionary.com yet to see.

    LK-I am with you on all of this–although I do sometimes leave you a emoticon–I feel as though I’ve been duly warned and promise never to leave another one.

    Nevertheless—I do have a favorite anagram (is that the right word?). It is FOADYPOADS. For F*** off and die you piece of absolute dog sh**.

    I like it because it sounds so cute. I’m rambling as I sit in a mediation in a conference room in Beaumont–Lord help me now. see ya– MK

  6. This post reminds me of a game that I would play with my friends online, we called it “Acronym Tennis”. We would use a string of initials to say something and see which one guessed the sentence first. It was the only sport I ever excelled in. I won a compilation CD.

    Yes. We’re nerds.

  7. How about people too lazy to use the shift key to write an upper case “I” when referring to themselves. It’s not that hard!!

  8. Ah yes – people talking about how much better things were in the old days. Kids today texting instead of writing on parchment with their goose quills. This sounds like a job for…
    The Grey Geezer

    As an occasional writer, people assume that I’m against LOLspeak and l33t speak and text shortcuts.

    Naw.

    I’ve got all sorts of nieces and nephews and younger fam that IM me and Text me and Twitter me. Yeah, sometimes it’s stoopid; I have a son who spends more time typing out a little message than it would take if he simply dialed the damn number (not that phones have a dial anymore).

    But I’ve taken the time to text back and to stay on top of the LOLspeak – not to mention getting a stoopid MySpace account – and know what? It means that my nieces and nephews and other fam spend more time with Uncle Tom. Not such a bad thing, and it’s just because I spent a little time learning the lingo.

    Just think of it like learning Spanish for your trip to Acapulco. It makes you better able to communicate with the natives.

  9. Tom–you are a contrarian, aren’t you. You invariably seem to counter almost every post I submit.

    Well, my little graying Joy Pecs, whatever floats your boat, but I respectfully disagree with you on this one and I do so vehemently. I think relenting to this, only contributes to a further dumbing down process and based on what I’ve encountered with today’s “youth”, that’s the last thing they need.

    I am close to my nieces and nephew, too but we traverse the distance between us with phone calls and visits. When that can’t happen, we e-mail each other too, but I refuse to fall into the chasm of text speech with them. That’s not to say I don’t know how to communicate with them about things that are relevant to them. But when they write me, they do so on my terms, in my vernacular. That way they learn a few things in the process. There’s nothing wrong in making a teen or 20-something stretch his or her intellect a bit. It forces them to communicate on several different levels and that, in my opinion, is extremely important. Damned vital, I’d say.

    If you feel closer to the kinder by going this route, that’s your deal. Great! I encourage you to disagree with me–which you usually do without my invitation, but I am a professional writer and I revile text speech–always have; always will.

    This is a bailiwick of mine and “rectifying” that fact, simply isn’t negotiable.

    LK

  10. I’ve wrote about this too, Laurie. It drives me nuts! This bothers us because we actually value the english language. Can you imagine where it will be in just a short period of time if the texting and IM’ing continues at this rate?

    Oh, and lest I forget to mention the most annoying acronym creator of them all … Rachel Ray. If I have to hear her say EVOO one more f’ing time …

  11. Yep, you are so right Candice. I could probably handle anyone else uttering “EVOO” for extra virgin olive oil…it’s just that Rachel Ray is the one doing the uttering. Anything that woman says tends to bother me. I wanted to like her..I really did, but she’s incredibly annoying. I’m not sure what it is specifically but I can’t watch her show…ANY OF THEM!!! Something about her grates on my nerves. It’s the way she sounds, speaks, the way she looks, how she cooks. I don’t even like her oven!!

    Usually I’m far more generous with people and their ways, but with her, it’s like that part of me shuts down.

    I even get the feeling that after spending some time with her, even Oprah has major regrets for bankrolling her show.

  12. I have nothing against Rachel except her clothing. She is too old to wear low rise jeans and tight fitting shirts. Plus she is a bit “hippy” and since my tv is one of those long HDs she looks 10x more ridiculous. Poor girl. Someone out there please help her with her wardrobe!!!!

    Maybe she should dress similar to Sandra and Giada. She would bring on more male viewers that way.

  13. She doesn’t have Giada’s tits, Sister dear.

    Thank God she doesn’t have that Steinway that Giada’s calls a smile, either. MY God that thing is HUGE. Giada doesn’t have a mouth…She’s got a garage with teeth

  14. Yes, she doesn’t have the rack like Giada but I’m trying to help her here.

    I have tried some of those recipes from that network and I would have a done a better job making them up myself.

    You must bake your pop overs this Thanksgiving for sure, Lar. So retrieve the pan from the back of your car trunk (you know where you threw it last year) and bring it once more.

  15. Good morning, PM if you’re reading. I think 25 steaks would be sufficient. They are big enough to split and I know non of the women guests won’t eat a whole one.

  16. Well, in all honesty. I do tend to use them now and then. I’m on IMVU a lot (3D chat site) and sometimes I just don’t feel like typing out a whole phrase or word. So I’ll use ‘wtf’, ‘stfu’, or ‘hee hee’ instead of lol or hha.

    It gets aggravating because a lot of my friends say “meh” instead of “me” or “lyke”, “ish” (is). Stuff like that. They think they sound cute, but they sound utterly retarded.

    The worst part is people actually having a conversation and saying it to the people they’re talking to. Example: I say ‘how are you?’ and they LITERALLY say ‘omfg, I’m so p.o.’d right now. Dude totally (insert here)’…

    Anyway, that’s my opinion on the whole chat speak front taking over the world…I don’t want to know how kids are going to be talking in 10-20 years…

  17. Just kidding, anyway I’m doing a presentation on how chatroom speak is bad for the English language and this was immensely helpful and inspirational, so thanks!

  18. I don’t believe you’d really hunt me down, etc. Now I’ll just copy and paste what I wrote in response to another person’s thoughts on the same topic.

    … Never mind. Sigh. Overwrote that copy a while ago. I’ll just try to retype it, though God save you from my lack of eloquence.

    No, chat speak in reality hasn’t gone as far as a 14 letter acronym, please. At least not in my experience. Then again, I only chat by IM, never text.

    But yes, I can see how you feel. I always feel repulsed by a sentence like “i b hungry, u 2? how r u 2day? well cul8t3r,” sure. That much is a bit excessive and the disparity from normal English grows too much, so that to understand it you have to convert it. Though once you begin to use it, you grow used to it and can read it pretty well. That’s how it was when I first used chat speak.

    Anyway… I don’t use chat speak that much anymore simply because bothering to capitalize and spell things out seems more intelligent. Seems, I say. I know a lot of people who use chat speak that are pretty smart. They’re not just a bunch of illiterate teens running around thinking lingo is cool.

    That is, I say, because believe it or not, chat speak to some extent (though as I said, I don’t condone too much of it) has its uses. Yes~, it does shorten the time up a little. I know everyone insists that 2.4 seconds/milliseconds is nothing, but frankly, it’s something. Chat speak simulates the pace of normal conversations that occur in “real life” in IM. Otherwise it seems unnatural. The same thing goes for emoticons, which are the equivalent of body and facial expression. -_-

    I think you just dislike it because you’re unused to it.

    But anyway, that was the original point of chat speak. But now quite a few of the abbreviations have evolved to have slightly different nuances from the original ones. Believe it or not, I interpret “omg” differently from “oh my god.” lol to me isn’t “laughing out loud,” but an expression to indicate recognition of humor. That’s the compulsion behind my use of the few abbreviations considered “chatspeak” that I still use. I don’t use them to abbreviate as much for the conversation, but to express something else than I can with anything else. That’s right. These abbreviations have become their own words. Yeah.

    No, don’t rage. It’s aggravating, sure. But it’s just part of the development of language. You know, how OK means what it does today, and not “Oll’s korect.” Normal.

    Oh, but I still use some of the abbreviations purely for abbreviating. Despite your emphatic arguments to the contrary, “brb” and “gtg” makes sense and are useful. Yes, I am busy enough to need to use 3 keys instead of 20, because, like the abbreviations say, I have to go. -_- #2.

    Anyway, meandering away once again. Many of the things people charge of chatspeak are true, though. Yup, lots of my peers (highschoolers) have adopted chat speak more and more, and it mortifies me to hear them spell out O M G etc. Though I get that compulsion occasionally because, as I said, they have their own nuances now. And yes, it can be detrimental. But it’s not as stupid as you think.

    I did say a lack of eloquence. Now I’ll say that was an understatement. It’s always like this 😛 I’ll be surprised if anyone bothers to read the whole repetitive, inefficient thing.
    R

  19. Here’s something to infuriate you further. I know it bothered me. To the extent that I started looking around on the internet for pages about chatspeak/netspeak/whatever-retarded-speak-it’s-called, and ran across your post here.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/04/news/04cohen.php

    Leave it to Twitter’s 140-character limit to make the Israeli Consulate sound like a 12-year old.

  20. I’m seventeen. Hi! Been on the internet for roughly seven years, and I can tell you from experience how terrible it has become. Couldn’t agree more.

  21. I can honestly say I use the common ‘words’ like LOL, but I prefer to type complete sentences so my friends can actually understand me fully. I got so fed up of the chatspeak…half of it is incomprehensible, and the other half is just plain stupid.

    (By the way, 18 years old and I’ve been using things like Instant Messaging since I was 14…and I still get narked when my friend can only speak like that online!)

  22. I belive that the use of acronyms and abreviations in everday language ect. to be perfectly valid.
    OP before you critise and question the worth of some of the language used by modern society, you should look up what you are talking about and areas relavent to it so that you have some knowledge on the subject. E.g.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_slang
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_language
    Children are one of the main driving forces in the creation and evolution of language.
    Also what you may see as lazy is what others consider to be more effcient, easier and more practical.
    Language is about conveyance of meaning, as long as the other person understands what you are saying or trying to say it dosn’t matter how you do it, Saying “lol” rather than “I found that mildly asmusing” is often due to character restrictions on txt messages or so that you can respond on a IM program at a speed which dosn’t make you seem retarded or something. To achive the same sort of flow when communicating online via text as speeking IRL , some shortening of the language used is nessesary. The difference in the response delay between typing “lol” and “I found that mildly asmusing” is very noticable and disruptive.
    Also different tonality and emotion is conveyed through the usage of the acronyms than alternatives or sometimes even what they stand for, for example:
    “wtf?”, “What did you say?”, “What the f**k?”, “wut?”, “What?” , “?”
    They all are responses to something found confusing or suprising, yet they all have different sound or emotive feel to them, “wtf?” as an acronym is far more passive than “What the f**k?”

    Exessive use of the word “like” and the coruptions and over simplifcations of some words or phases can make people sound retarded, but often it is more the content of what they are talking about that causes this, rather than solely the way that they are saying it.
    However it dose become a bad thing if the meaning or idea that is trying to be communicated is lost, obstructed or improperly conveyed as a result of the over the top likeage.

    OP : Original Poster, meaning the person who wrote this opinion(Laurie Kendrick)
    IM program : Instant messaging program (like MSN, IRC, ect.)
    IRL : In Real Life, as in reality.

    .

    Your arguments are your own Anonymous and before you “critise” me for having mine, perhaps you should understand the concept of opining. Chatspeak bothers me–immensely and in any form–and I won’t apologize for feeling about it as strongly as I do.

    It’s called personal preferences. I just read yours and you have read mine.

    Before YOU “critise” and question the worth of some of the language used in my stating my opinion, you should look up what you are talking about and areas relavent to it so that you have some knowledge on the subject. E.g.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_(sociology)

    LK

  23. Sorry, I’ve just re-read the first portion of my comment after post-posting it and it sounded aggresive and accusational, it isn’t meant to be.
    .

    But it was.

  24. I believe this whole “next-generation” of speaking is absolutely ridiculous and outrageous. I used to be a chat speaker myself, but soon realized after looking at what seemed like ages of re-reading a chat speak sentence I started chatting like I do now. What is annoying is that a majority of the people who chat speak use it to express how awesome and cool they are. I find it anomalous that people enjoy this way of speaking, and it gets on my nerves. Heavily. I agree with every part of your article and I fully respect your opinion.

  25. I loved this. And I don’t say this as a 80-some year old woman telling kids to get off my lawn. I say this a 13-year old girl. Honestly, my best friend will sometimes say “LOL” to me. At this point, I just sort of cringe. I will occasionaly use “Meh” for “me” or “Chu” for “You”, but only when I have reason, such as using my “Big internet voice’, such as saying “CHU BETTER GIVE MEH BACK MEH COOKIES!”. But I don’t normally do this unless I am…
    A) Hyped up on sugar
    B) In a crazy mood of some sort.
    And I will normally be the one trying to correct my friend’s grammar.

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