Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wired, connected, and misspelled

Last week, I had my first encounter with the word "prolly." I wasn't sure what it meant when I read it in the chat message. I thought it stood for something so I asked the person I was chatting with to clarify. Upon learning that it's an abbreviation for "probably," my first reaction was a grunt.

Will this shortcut catch on? I don't know. I don't have any strong feelings about it. I'm not annoyed or anything -- I'm all for language leniency. But I'm hoping that people know the difference when to use "prolly" and "probably." And it wouldn't hurt if they used the longer word every once in a while.

I must admit that I'm the last person to know Internet-savvy terms such as "meme," "ping," "PM," and "IM." I'm not even partial to using smileys. I think typing smileys takes too much effort -- all those punctuation marks and shift keys that have to be hit. "Hahahaha" works for me perfectly. If I'm feeling devilish, I type "hehehe." Or, "hihihihi" when I'm feeling naughty. (I've searched all my blog entries for any smileys and I found none. I did, however, found a total of 15 smileys in all the comments.)

I'm no purist. If I were, I would've started a journal instead of a blog. But there are some things I just couldn't let go. I can't imagine sending text messages to my friends like "C u l8r" or "Go fk urslf." I've always been afraid of being misunderstood, so I make it clear to someone whether I want to be on toothbrush-sharing terms with him or if I want to rip out his balls and feed them to my pet dachshund Babs. (Like me, she's adorable that way.)

This post inspired by...

I found this hysterical article from the McSweeney's website about a supposed "Internet-age writing syllabus and course overview." Before you can take the "class," here are the prerequisites:

ENG: 232WR—Advanced Tweeting: The Elements of Droll
LIT: 223—Early-21st-Century Literature: 140 Characters or Less
ENG: 102—Staring Blankly at Handheld Devices While Others Are Talking
ENG: 301—Advanced Blog and Book Skimming
ENG: 231WR—Facebook Wall Alliteration and Assonance
LIT: 202—The Literary Merits of Lolcats
LIT: 209—Internet-Age Surrealistic Narcissism and Self-Absorption

I love McSweeney's and the books they publish. I can't get enough of their edgy designs and distinct themes. And McSweeney's has reading and writing programs for undeprivileged kids as well.


Yvette Kelly said...

I feel exactly the same way about sms.I always type the whole thing in case its not understood.I tried to read one of my daughter's text messages once and it took me a while to understand.Crazy!! And I also worry that I might forget the correct way to spell if I keep on abbreviating.