When did vowels become obsolete?

…just like the cracker barrel?

Sorry, I had to do that.  Any of my CCP cohorts who might read this will get it.

Anywho, I’m going to be starting classes soon as at Rutgers University, along with thousands of other students (like tens of thousands), this coming Wednesday.  Due to my age, I’m considered a ‘non-traditional’ student.  It feels anomalous to me.  The last time I was in school (aside from my online courses,) I was the youngest in my program.  My previously chosen career path was typically one that was ‘second’ profession, meaning I shared a majority of my classes with those in their mid to late 40’s.  Now, while I might not be the oldest, I will definitely be of the ‘older set.’

In the process of making myself more familiar with the systems and getting questions answered, I’ve run across a decent number of traditional students-those who are going into college straight out of high school or are transferring in after spending 2 years at a local community college  They are an interesting group, to say the least.  Most of them don’t know what it’s like to not have internet, and texting is second nature (ok, see?  Firefox spell check doesn’t even recognize ‘texting’ as an actual word.)

Social media has become a way of life…I have no issues admitting that I’m on FaceBook and other various networking sites through out the day.  However, I am constantly amazed by the use of what I call ‘text speak’ or ‘im speak’ in regular communication, particularly in the younger crowd. Email, message boards, it doesn’t seem to matter…the hideous use of that language created by the need to limit ones characters has seeped its way into everyday speaking.  I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out a thread where the posters had apparently removed every vowel (seriously, they held an entire conversation this way.)

Call me old fashioned.  Call me  a fuddy-duddy.  But darn it, I got a phone with a QWERTY keyboard so I would seldom (if ever) have to use text speak.  Yes, I use things like LOL, OMG, ROFL, etc, but substituting ‘gud’ for ‘good?’  ‘Da’ for ‘the’ and ‘dat’ for ‘that?’  Remove the articles and spell the other words correctly, please.

My fear is that this type of ‘language’ will replace proper words and grammar rules.  I see posts and texts and it makes the grammarian in me weep bitter little tears.  Heck, I don’t even like to abbreviate in tweets.  I’ll remove spaces first.

I wonder if people actually write their school papers that way…or if it will get to the point that we’ll have ‘foreign language’ classes for us ‘old’ folk so we can understand what the heck is being said.

About maggyruth

Mid-thirties, Mid-Atlantic transplant. Fiber-artist, hidden poet, health educator, student. Still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I swear sometimes. Especially when I'm mad. Deal with it. View all posts by maggyruth

3 responses to “When did vowels become obsolete?

  • itchbay

    They don’t at my school. And most people who IM or text with me don’t either, because it becomes too difficult when I stop them and ask them what “gud” means.

    I play online games, and occasionally run into people who talk like that, but when I type like this, they either get the point, or get bored.

    I have to wonder if, by killing typing classes in school, we’ve killed our chances at communicating easily? I think I type pretty quickly, but I’m always out-paced by my mother. When I IM with my mom, she’s faster, and all her words are spelled correctly and her punctuation is in the right place.

    • gritlysweettea

      Good point. I had typing class in high school (using Word Perfect…remember that? Does it even exist anymore?) and while I’m a decent typist, my mom blows me out of the water, too (fewer mistakes, as well.) I think she can (or used to) type 100+ wpm. I believe I’m at about 60.

  • playdeezgames

    Yes, WordPerfect still exists: http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/us/en/Product/1208530087126?trkid=NASEMGglOP#tabview=tab2

    Other than that… congratulations. You have entered into the group of non-young people who say things that are the equivalent of “you know, it was better before.”

    BTW, AFAIK, it wasn’t.

    Sending text messages is informal communication, and as such does not require formal language.

    There are very few places where formal communication is the norm. Pretty much college papers and resumes, and even resumes less so anymore.

    Also, most communication is fluff. It doesn’t matter if ma can type 40 more words a minute than you, if she doesn’t have something more to actually SAY with those 40 words.

    Its like cell phones. I see people all of the time talking while driving, while shopping, while walking down an exercise path. Do they need to? No, not really. Back during the “dark time of no cell phones”, people still managed to live. It’s all fluff like “Yeah… I’m in the kitty litter aisle. What brand do I need to get?”

    So, if anything, I implore people to have something worth saying. We can work with poor spelling and grammar, as they are mechanical issues.

    You know, important things like: “Jesus is coming back. It might be getting hot for a lot of people. Don’t be one of them.”

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