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The Abbrev. Gen.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:14 am

“Wat R U doin?”

“Txtg. LOL. U?”

“Chillaxin w/my bff.”

Sigh. Literally. I wrote the above and let out an exasperated sigh. Communication has become the latest casualty of the Abbreviated Generation. And it's not just teenagers who are guilty of grammatical murder.

It all started with telephones. No longer did people have to rely on taking the time to write a letter, think about what they were going to say, then send the correspondence off to friends and loved ones. You could prattle on and on to the person on the other end and not bother with the pesky pen and paper.

Things got worse with drive-through windows. “I don't have to take a few moments to get my lazy butt out of my car and go INTO the bank? I'm sold!”

Then came faxes. No more need to courier those important documents across town/state/country.

The advent of the cell phone made it impossible to just get away from being accessible at times.

Certain doom was spelled with the invention of the Internet and social networking.

But with all that instant gratification at our fingertips, things still aren't fast enough. Our language is slowly being dumbed down for a generation of people too lazy to type out words like “you,” “are,” “laugh” and other simple, clear communication devices.

It's as if the importance of language is not being taught anymore.

I refuse to LOL in text responses or my Facebook and Twitter posts. The fact that I've had to use it twice to illustrate my point here makes my skin crawl.

How long before avid texters with penchant for abbreviation and word substitution start doing the same in resumes or business documents?

“Dear Mr. B.,

I wud lik 2 app 4 a job w/ur compny.

L8,

D00d.”

The above exampl might be a humorous approach, but I really do see a growing problem.

My plea is simply this: Take the time to say what you mean. Spell it out. Express yourself fully. The gift of communication is not something to throw away. When we all take the time to say what it is we're trying to say, the message won't get lost, and we can move forward as a society.

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