When I was in college, studying Journalism, I had a professor who demanded perfect grammar (AP style, if I remember correctly) in any correspondence you had with him. If you had a misspelled word or improper verb tense use, he’d simply email it back to you without a response and leave you to find the error before he’d answer your question. This could go on for multiple emails until you figured out your mistake!
I remember grumbling about that. What was the big deal, anyway?
Almost 10 years out of college, and I find myself becoming more and more like my professor every day.
Now, backtrack even further in life. I was perhaps 10 or 12 when a co-worker of my Mom’s presented me with this:
AB, CDEDBD Ducks?
MR Not Ducks
YIB! MR Ducks!
I was frustrated and annoyed by the puzzle in front of me. Oh, haha. See the itty bitty ducks. I get it. Through the years, I’d get a kick out of word puzzles. I like to challenge my brain, and work at deciphering what is being “said.”
I do NOT like doing that kind of work to read a text or a tweet, and therein lies where I am more like my professor every day.
Last week, I received notification of a new Twitter follower. A reporter here in Nashville had started to follow my Twitter feed. I clicked to look at their feed, and I promptly broke out in hives. Figuratively speaking at least. I did weep some.
Every tweet was filled with things like, “Thank U.” or, “U R why we do our job.” “Going 2 B on at 6. Will U watch?” (OKay, I am making up these tweets, but you get the idea.) Needless to say, I did NOT follow back. I was tempted to direct message and tell this person they were an idiot. But I didn’t.
I have, though, been known to just flat out not respond to text messages filled with “R U” and “C U” or “U 2” stuff. If it takes me five minutes to decipher a text, you’ve officially annoyed me and I’m going to ignore you.
Perhaps I should just start sending texts back to the sender until they figure out that taking the time to add a couple extra letters (or use predictive text!) will actually get me to respond to their question. Hmmm…
I happen to love the written word. The fact that I have a degree in a field that requires writing skills is something I am proud of having. I am protective of that written word. Today, though, respect for the written word is low. Our new ways of writing have bastardized it so badly that I am amazed by the lack of communication skills I see on social media sites. (And, yes, I am guilty of judging a person’s intelligence based on how they write. I admit it.)
Disclaimer: I understand Twitter has a character limit that forces such short hand in some cases. It’s when there are plenty of characters left and the “shorthand” is used that I get ticked.