I know several high school and elementary teachers, and each one has observed how practically every one of their students use “text speak“. Most of these kids were not even born when cell phones only had number pads (thus the need for brevity in a text message), and many have adopted it because it is a “cute” way to talk. I’ve even known of some people who will speak out “LOL” rather than laughing, which makes me want to cave in their skull with a frying pan.
In Washington State, spelling is not a required curriculum, and it certainly shows. Most kids sound out words phonetically, which leads to gems like “osim” (awesome).
While text speak or L33t Speak can be fun, it is only endearing when used by those who actually have a grasp on proper spelling and grammar. When a formal term paper has words like “ur” “omg” and “l8r” in it, then it’s time to resume corporal punishment… on the parents who let this happen.
Would you rather be “right” or would you rather get results?
It’s okay to do a brain dump on the keyboard to get your feelings out. But before you hit the send button, ask yourself if you really would say these things if the other person were in the same room. If the answer is no, then leave the Send button alone.
Even Abraham Lincoln, one of the most revered and respected American figures, wrote several long angry letters to his generals during the Civil War, but never sent them. These letters were never sent because they had already fulfilled their purpose… the President had gotten his feelings out. Sending those letters would have done more harm than good.
Use some common sense. Let people know you’re actually human with feelings by talking to them directly, and you’ll be amazed at what you can get accomplished.
If nothing else, you can hang your head high knowing that you’re no coward.