Thursday, July 12, 2012

Speaking Shorthand

The English language is being tweeted to death.

The social networking site Twitter has conditioned an entire generation to crunch expression into 140 characters or less, a process involving clever applications such as "gr8" to mean "great." That's quite a verbal mutilation to save two letters. Lately, I've seen "gr8" pop up in e-mails--at work.

I've written about the decline and fall of the English language before. I most likely will again. There's no place else for a writer/editor/English major/word lover/book reader to go in this depressing situation other than the blank page. Or, if blogging, the empty text box.

Who "pens" an essay today? Nobody does; not even I. (Yes, it's "I," not "me"--is anyone listening as I scream into the grammatical void?) Today, we all "key" it. Or "text" it. Especially if it's 140 characters or less. But brevity has always been a challenge for me. No wonder I'm not much of a tweeter.