A call to communicate properly
Today, Monday, is my birthday. I share it with Mohamed Fayed, Mark Owen, Rosamund Pike and Andy Coulson (who cannot be amused by having to spend it at the Old Bailey). On this day in 1606 the trial of Guy Fawkes began and in 1984, Michael Jackson suffered second degree burns whilst filming a Pepsi commercial. In times past, people sent me birthday cards. This year, instead, I’ve received over 200 Facebook posts and it got me thinking about how such mediums have truly changed the way we communicate.
Amongst the messages were several that just read “HBD” – an intialism for “happy birthday”. People now use text speak in all situations and frankly I consider Facebook, Twitter and text messaging to blame for what are just lazy ways to correspond. “HIYA, r u in LDN? Wanna get 2gether on Sun 2 hv lnch?” is an example of the kind of email I receive regularly from a lady I know. I have great trouble deciphering her missives and find myself rarely replying.
One abbreviation that particularly puzzles is “LOL”. What does this mean? Amongst the definitions I know of are “laugh out loud”, “lots of love”, “lots of luck” and “lots of likes”. This confusing acronym, along with such initialisms as “LMAO” (“laughing my ass off”), “ROTFL” (“rolling on the floor laughing”) and “LMFAO” (“laughing my f**king ass off”), drive me bonkers but sadly have even been elevated to the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Language is something that naturally evolves and that should be celebrated. This kind of laziness however is just ridiculous. I call for a ban on the use of “LOL” and its offshoots.
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