I know, I know. Two posts ago I said we should all leave our electronics off now and then. Well, the article was more about properly using them. Know when to say when. I fully support texting. I do it often. I am just curious about the language people use when they text. So, I thought that I’d write a post in all text lingo. I had to use a translator (seriously) to accomplish this. I found out that it’s not as difficult as I originally thought; there are just a couple of rules you must follow.
1) Use all caps.
2) Overuse the exclamation mark, in fact, only use the exclamation mark for punctuating!
3) In general, mistype.
4) Overuse the abbreviations WTF, OMG, LOL.
5) LOL. Type phonetically–well, sort of.
Here is what the translator produced:
SO I D3CIEDD 2 WRIET A POST IN TEXT LNGO!!!!!! AFTER AL Y NOT!!!!! MAH 13 YAAR-OLD NEICA TYP3S THES WAY!1!!1!11 OMG Y SHUDNT I!!!! WTF LOL I CANT TAKE AL DA CR3D THOUGH!!11111 WTF I ACTUALY HAD 2 UES THE ANGLISH-2-12-OLD-AOLER TRANSLA2R 2 ACOMPLISH IT!1!111!! OMG WTF LOL I GU3S TEH KAY IS 2 NOT UES ANY PUNCTUATION 3XCEPT FOR LOTS OF AXCLMATION MARKS!1!11!!1! OMG WTF LOL ALSO ITS ESENTIAL 2 UES AS MANY WTFS AND LOLS AS POSIBLE!11!11!!! WTF LOL
My original idea was to actually write the entire post in text lingo. It became clear immediately that this was going to induce either rage or seizures, one of the two, so I had to stop. I think my point is rather clear in the one paragraph I was able to compose in text lingo. I mean, seriously, WTF!?!
The origins of text lingo can be found in phones that pre-date itapen or t9. I’ve read several articles written by linguists that suggest it dates even further back to the days of Morse Code. It took several key punches of varying lengths to get a single letter. You probably can remember having to hit the #7 button 4 times to get an “s.” So, you needed to find ways to abbreviate and choose your words wisely. Interestingly, now that most phones have this feature, or better yet, now that there are phones with full keyboards, people still use these same words. My 13 year-old niece types her emails in a similar, yet different, way–she uses no caps and no punctuation.
I realize that I am a self-diagnosed “over-punctuater.” I love the comma. And, the semi-colon. Oooo, and the tilde (~) that’s my favorite! It really doesn’t have much use in regular language, but I just think it’s pretty, so I use it. It’s a personal style choice. I mostly use it in place of a comma in the greeting of an email. Nonetheless, you can imagine that the lack of punctuation in texting sends me into a tizzy. That and the use of all-caps. IT’S LIKE I’M BEING YELLED AT!!!1!!11!
I think my original point wasn’t even supposed to be about the actual texts. I got distracted. It’s about the act of texting. It’s dangerous. This past July in California it became illegal to talk on your cell phone and drive. You have to wear a headset. Initially, they didn’t add texting to the law, although as of this month, that has now been corrected. People were actually texting instead of talking on the phone while they drove, as if it was safer.
It’s insane, really–texting and driving, texting and walking, texting and (insert your activity of choice). It seems obvious to say, but, I’ll say it anyway. You can’t see what you’re doing when you are texting. I don’t care how proficient your thumbs are. I don’t know anyone that can type a complete text message without looking at their screen. Not to mention that you sort of need your hands for driving…both of them. It’s called 10 and 2, folks, remember?
I have certain friends, you know who you are, who refuse to use their voice. I will call them and leave a voice message only to receive a reply in the form of a text seconds later. Really? Use your voices, folks. I know that this all makes me sound like a curmudgeon. I am by no means against technology or texting. I just got the iPhone and one of my favorite features is the texting. But, I use sentences and punctuation. It’s just important to know when to use it.
Well, this is the conclusion of another rather unfocused post. I guess that sums up how I’m feeling this week–unfocused and a little scatter-brained, frankly. Which really does happen to be the point of this semi-rant. Focus. For all the advancements in electronics have brought us, it has made it more difficult to focus on the task at hand. And that’s because we usually have several tasks at hand at all times. Even our leisure has gotten complex. I almost always have my laptop running while I’m watching TV. But, that’s another subject and my brain hurts.