Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wordly Woes

Rcntly, n infinitly annoyng habt has bcum ncreasngly prevalnt amng yngsters (n evn d eldr ppl spendin 2 mch time on d intrnet). Her Im talkin abt d habt of usin 'sms n intrnet lingo', typcally a modificatn of english in which most f d vwls (read vowels) r redndnt n most f d spellngs dstrted. While d omission f vowels arose coz f celfones n twittr, d spellng distortns containin d same no. f wurds don mak much sense.

And either way, none of them are easy to read, as you would have realised to your exasperation while reading the above paragraph. Yeah, yeah, I know, recent studies have proven that the human brain can decipher any word with letters jumbled. But when you sit down to relish your few minutes of facebooking after a long day, you hope to utilise your mental faculties for something better than decoding the intricate spellings. For example, how on this earth do you hope to be enlightened enough to know that 'ma' should be read as 'my'? For a long time, I thought 'ma' in India means Mommy, until finally wisdom dawned upon me and the codes started making sense. Also, I had made peace with 'ya' meaning yes (It should be 'yeah', people, though its ok, I can live with it.) But when people started using 'ya' at the end of every sentence, I lost it again. Then one fine day, I woke up and realised that 'ya' now stands for 'yaar'. Apparently, thats how Englishmen and Americans would pronounce it. (No, they won't. They would pronounce it as 'man' or 'buddy'. But that's ok too.)

Speaking of pronountiations, I know how 'its' and 'girls' are pronounced in English, but can someone throw light upon the pronountiation of 'gurlz', 'itz', 'iz', 'izz', 'itzzz' etc.? Also, would you explain me the meaning of 'helloz' and 'okies', or the logic behind 'n1'? (Can I start using b1, because most of the ones are not n1?)
Oh, I almost forgot this one - why is 'e' written as '3'? And what am I supposed to make of words written LiKe tHiS? They seem annoying. But are they supposed to be preEttY or fAshIOnAblE?

So here I am, absolutely vexed and totally clueless about this all-pervasive ever-changing database. And all those dear people who made me take the pains to write all this, I know you are too much into this usage to let go of it now. So lets make a pact. You won't call your language English, not even internet English, Short English, or something as cheesy. (Think of English as a patented word.) You call it something else, and we, the language lovers, don't bother you about it. You can also write blogs, books, dictionaries and thesauruses in your language ; we will try to read them if they are worth it. You can also have awards for the best works in your language - The Least Number of Vowels Award, The Most Innovative Short Form Award, etc.

On a closing note, I would like to say just this - The educated, the intellectuals, the productive ones will always use English as it is, because they have read a lot and typing the right words is a part of their psyche. You might think your language is for the busy people. It isn't. if you were that busy, you wouldn't tweet so much as to get addicted to this language. You might think that such usage shows a modern bearing and a 'cool' attitude. It doesn't. Following others randomly without thinking is the opposite of modern. Your language, I believe, is for people who have a misguided notion of cool and a craving for showing off a fake accent. On second thoughts though, perhaps its just for people who have forgotten the classroom English in this endless stream of junk. I no, I hd cn it cumin.


Anonymous said...

It is somewhat paradoxical to find a typo in this article. Please replace pronuntiations by pronunciations, 2 occurrences.

Mental Havoc said...

I agree! English is English... What kids write now a days.... I don't know what to call it! :-)

Subhrojyoti Sarkar said...

Well, I have pretty tough time decoding what I call the Harappan Script on phone. Then I am advised to read it on the go and I'll start getting what I read. I feel myself to be an old man seeing all this... :(

Sivasankar Menon said...

I do agree.. I got rid of this habit 5 years ago as soon as i started it. I know people who have ruined their GRE writing section because of this. Its disgusting and derogatory to English Language.

Ashlesha said...

Brilliant! Glad that someone took the efforts to write this:) I myself resist commenting many a times on others' status updates on Facebook. I don't know WHY they never realize that "my" takes the same amount of typing efforts as "ma", so does "OK" instead of "kk", and in fact, an endless stream of "kkkkk..." takes even MORE efforts!

Oh, and let's not forget the little " <3 "s !!

Radha said...

@All: Thanks :)

@Anon: Thanks for pointing out the error!

@Ash: Oh I know, the little <3!!!