Column: LOL, the perils of text speak


 Really embarrassing old picture, LOL

RUOK? I’m GR8 thx. Bit L8 writing this column. BYNT. If you are struggling to read any of the past sentence I suspect you represent the frustrated section of the community that SHID (slap your heads in disgust) at having your standards compromised by the evolving British lingo known as text speak.

Not only do you still speak to people on the phone, or in person (shocker) but you probably recognise your ‘friends’ when you see them and when you interact you actually physically meet them. I’m talking conversations using vocal cords and everything.

But never forget knowledge is power and understanding that language is evolving at a frightening rate and will impact you too IS important. Just ask the woman who sent her bereaved pal a text message ending LOL. Not lots of love as she thought, but lots of laughs…oops.

The reality is that no matter how many of us shout up about the importance of apostrophes and the critical nature of spelling and English language usage all that work has been eradicated by the wonders of new technology.

Not only is text speak becoming the no1 language of communication on social media, it has steadily crept into day-to-day language too.

Even more worrying, there are even new acronyms to describe advocates of proper language . ACORN ( a completely obsessive really nutty person). Lovely.

Of course we have been battling creeping Americanisation of our language. How many of you shudder at the use of phrases ‘train station’, ‘movie theatre’ and ‘cop’ – and yes, newspapers are guilty of this too.

In reality, there have always been shorthands used in language. All our reporters use Teeline shorthand to make notes. I s there really any difference in using text speak in messages .. and then bringing that into everyday language? Controversial, I know… especially coming from an editor.

But the world moves on at an alarming r8 and I have found the if you CBTJT (can’t beat them join them) approach is the most effective. Just not in print, or online… or in this newspaper. LOL.

Column first appeared in Lancaster Guardian – click HERE