I was texting with a teenager the other day. He was one of the players in a baseball team that I managed a couple of years ago. He was asking for a character reference from the coach for a school requirement and was coordinating with me. After I gave instructions as to where my driver will meet him to give the form he needed, this was his reply: “SLR. 🙂 Thank you so much for your help!”
Hmmm. I got the thank you part… but try as I might, I couldn’t quite figure out what SLR meant. SLR camera? Did he need a photo?
Geesh, what’s with this short cut language? I truly am so behind! I suddenly felt old.
I ended up asking another teenager who was with me that morning. He casually said, “Sorry late reply.” Reading his facial expression, I think his thought balloon said, “How old are you? How can you not know?” I felt ancient! 😦
What is it with all these shortcuts? When I send text or chat messages, I make sure all the words are spelled out — correctly, if I may add. I cringe whenever I send a text message with a misspelled word, and I quickly follow it up with the correct spelling (*correct spelling). So, yes, I send long text messages.
When my son was just starting to use a cellphone, we made it a point that the messages we send had correctly spelled words and with correct grammar. No shortcuts. We did not want him to get used to carelessly composed text messages filled with misspelled words and bad grammar. We wanted him to compose his messages properly. We wanted him to use words and not just letters. In fact, we wanted him to use big words whenever possible. That way he is enriching his vocabulary.
But then nowadays, people are just so used to shortened messages. And it seems that young people can easily understand a random mix of letters! I, on the other hand, have to rack my brains to decipher what they mean.
Is it because we are all busy, things are happening fast and we have no time to waste that we look for shortcuts? Or have the young people just gone lazy that it gets too tiring for them to spell out a word? I truly wonder.
Personally, though, I still prefer real words. Real, understandable words. I don’t mind reading long messages as long as there’s substance. I know I will make time.
Besides, save for bff (best friends forever) and lol (laugh out loud), I can’t seem to remember what all the other acronyms stand for. I once mistook bfn (bye for now) to be best friends not, and I thought ttyl (talk to you later) meant try and try, you loser. Yep, I was that bad.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned… Or maybe it is because I am a writer and I put value in words that I don’t appreciate shortcuts.
Or maybe, I’m simply just old –and too lazy to make an effort in remembering what they mean.
Post script (P.S.) :
Yesterday, as my sister was reading a text message, she asked me what atm meant. Hah!! I knew that one! I was too tempted to say Automated teller machine, though…
She raised an eyebrow and looked confused. I smiled and said, “At the moment.” Then I added, “Don’t you feel old not knowing that?”
Misery loves company… ikr?! 🙂
photo via google images