Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LOL ... WTF?

Texting acronyms ... little shortcuts that are supposed to be understood by all and make sending messages easier for everyone. Hmmph. The problem is, this lazy form of communication born of non-QWERTY keyboard usage has now infiltrated the rest of society and become commonplace in other forms of communication, such as e-mails and, (believe it or not), formal letters and job resumes. The "Headline Generation" seems to be getting more and more mindless and yet, nobody seems to mind!

Okay, maybe it's the writer in me that finds this offensive, I really don't know. Maybe the fact that I view the written word as a sacred form of communication and preservation is blinding me to the fact that many people just don't care that much about it? But seriously, if I receive a resume from a prospective employee that uses phrasing such as, "Looking 2 advance my career w/ a growing co and help u to build a strong futr," I'm putting it at the very bottom of the wastebasket! (And yes, that is a verbatim line from a recent resume.)

Granted, I'd much rather see someone write WTF than actually spell out the words. Sure, it means the same thing, but for some reason, acronyms are more widely accepted and easier on the eyes than their four-letter counterparts. I'm sure all of the MILFs out there know what I mean.

XMas is another that has always bothered me. No, I'm not a religious nut - I've actually gone from a C&E, (Christmas & Easter), to now just a "kids have a program, so I'll go and watch" attendee. Right. I'm sure that's probably frowned upon by many, but the fact is, I have my own relationship with God and it seems to work for both of us. Neither has to put in much time or effort to my saving and I, in turn, agree to be a good boy and help others when I can. Whatever. In any event, I remember learning in Sunday School, (I was probably 10 at the time), that "by writing XMas, you are effectively Xing Christ's name out of the holiday." That stuck with me. To this day I get angry when I see that abbreviation and if someone in my employ uses it, I come down on them like a fallen tree.

Sure, many will say that this is an empty argument - that we have much bigger things to worry about than the laziness of American writing habits. Hmm. Yes, but this speaks to the bigger picture, doesn't it? Look at all of the people who voted for Obama in the last election, who are now horrified by the mistake. (Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of them who now line the grounds of every Tea Party protest.) These people were part of the "Headline Society," as I call it. Those who listen to a 10-second sound bite or read the caption under a picture and figure they know it all. They listened to the message of "Change this, change that," and figured it sounded pretty good. What they didn't do was investigate Obammy's voting record, nor look into those whom he associated. Had they done that, they may not have been so quick to elect this guy.

I know, saying that extending our vocabulary to include real words rather than acronyms will solve all of our problems is ridiculous, but it's a start. If people start to re-evaluate the importance of communication and understand that doing a job right is as important as doing it at all, maybe we'll have a better chance of succeeding without dependence on a huge government? Maybe we'll get into the habit of actually working to achieve things rather than simply putting in the minimum amount of effort to achieve a specific goal. Or maybe, we'll just take longer to type stuff. Who knows? But hey, it never hurts to try!


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