Everytime I watch the AT&T commercial with that quotable punchline “Idk…my BFF Jill?”, I immediately think of one of my old BFF’s: Candice Orm, my former FFA State Officer Teammate and master text-er. This girl’s texts, facebook messages, and emails are so abbreviated that I often have to ask her to resend it in proper English.
For example, she sent the following message in response to a teammate wrecking his truck: “aw. sry bout da truck. if i win da lotto il by u 1 if dat counts. luv u man hope it gets betr.” (Translation: “Aww, sorry about the truck. If I win the lottery, I’ll buy you one if that counts. I love you man, hope it gets better.”) This illustration is nothing compared to some of the texts I received during the year we served together.
For English purists like myself, this “chat lingo” is ridiculously frustrating! I constantly get made fun of for sending grammatically correct text messages. When did the English language become uncool? This phenomenon is every grade school teacher’s worst nightmare: proper spelling really is for losers!
As a creative writer, I love the fact that English is so structured that it allows itself to be written in the way it is meant to be spoken. The loss of proper punctuation takes the magic out of the words, something that breaks the heart of my inner poet.
Though I am annoyed by “text talkers” (those who constantly throw “nbd” or “brb” into conversation) I know that I’m fighting a losing battle. The “language lovers” that Diane Mapes msnbc article Fastidious spelling snobs pushed over the edge discusses haven’t accepted that. The people Mapes mentions are a different breed altogether, people who correct menus at restaurants and mark errors in magazines in sincere hopes of helping the punctuation perpetrators.
While I do love grammar, I’m never going to go up to a stranger and tell them that they’ve misused a word or spelled something wrong. Sure, it may get on my nerves but big deal, who am I to judge? I have nothing against these people, I call some of them my closest friends. Who you ask? Idk…my BFF Candice?