On Monday I talked about words that are worth saving. Today I’m thinking of the exact opposite. No, I do not mean to remove words from the English language. As you all know, I am a lover of words. What I do want to remove – banish forever and ever – are the non-words that seem to have been embedded in the way we now speak. I’m talking about Twitter-speak, YA-speak, and the like. Then I saw this brief article yesterday that raised the question of where the “future of English” is headed. The fact that this question had to be raised made me consider all of the misspellings and fake words I see all the time in the online world that are used by adults in the name of brevity, irony, or both.
I understand that there is a need for abbrev. certain words to keep your tweets under 140 characters. Even so, I implore you to dial down the intentional misspellings and the I Can Haz Cheezburger-ness of your writing. Maybe I’m being schoolmarm-esque about this, and usually I’m a huge proponent of “once you know the rules, you can break them.” (I mean, look how many sentences I begin with conjunctions and how many infinitives I split!) Still, this is just getting out of hand. Like my ongoing “Please Stop Misusing & Overusing Literally, Random, and Awkward” campaign, I must share this recent grievance with you all as well.
To anyone who has written “kittehs,” “teh,” “sekrit,” or “haz,” or have even just intentionally used child-level grammar in a blog post or tweet, I ask you – please stop. What was once cute or ironic or done in the name of fun has now gotten to the point where it’s infiltrating actual speech. People with higher education degrees and knowledge of the written word have regressed to the intellectual capacity of a first grader, and for what? To sound adorable? It’s not adorable. It is the linguistic equivalent of using Comic Sans in a business email. Put another way, it’s like dating someone who insists on using baby talk. No one wants to be likened to an infant and no one should want to come across as one either. We are all adults here, and apparently we’re still responsible for setting the standard in this “next wave” of the English language. So, let’s keep it alive, well, and as correct as it can be when used in informal places.
What’s on your list of words that need to go away? Share your grammar-related complaints and begin your weekends free of annoyance!