RU SRS?: The English Language is Dead

There is no way to turn on the news now without hearing about the presidential race. We are inundated with information about Newt Gingrich being a sleazy swinger, Mitt Romney flip-flopping, Ron Paul being borderline insane and the other candidates being uninteresting, but at the very least, living human beings.

They are all campaigning on the same things. All that comes out of their mouths is “Abortion blah, blah, blah. Sanctity of marriage blah, blah, blah.  Job Creation, blah, blah, blah. My opponent is the most evil, blah, blah, blah.”

It’s time for a candidate to try to fix the real problems facing America. Sure, we have incredibly high unemployment and somewhat accidentally bumped the self-destruct button on our economy, but there is something far more heinous wreaking it’s havoc on this fine country.

The death of the English language.

There was a time when acronyms were rare. You had the occasional ASAP or VIP, but for the most part, people chose to use actual words to express themselves.

Those days are very much gone. The internet has brought a culture that has LOLed and OMGed their way through emails. There were so many WTFs and BRBs and ROTFLs floating around that government officials became concerned that a national letter shortage could be on the way.

I have not hidden the fact that I hate acronyms. I have never understood the need to shorten every phrase to its bare minimum letter-wise.

Part of this stems from my inability to keep up with modern acronyms. It took over a year for me to figure out why people kept telling me they would BRB. I would sit there at my computer, perplexed as to why the person I was playing a game with had chosen these particular letters.

Was this a euphemism for going to the bathroom that I didn’t know about? Perhaps it was a type of drug use, in which case I should probably get to work on a BRB intervention. I didn’t want my friends to fall into the deep, spiraling abyss that is BRB addiction.

After a while, though, I grew to accept these seemingly random letters. No, I was not going to start declaring that I would BBL (be back later) or start slipping numbers into the middle of words, but I had grown to accept this new world of nonsensical communication. If I didn’t try to adapt to the way people were choosing to write, soon I would have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Metaphorically speaking, of course. I wasn’t going to be hit with a meteorite.

Then, just the other day, it happened.

I was in a restaurant, minding my own business, when I heard it.

“Hey, I’m going to go to the bathroom. BRB.”

This person had broken the text-speech barrier. No longer were these letters just used for speeding up the incredibly speedy process of texting. Now, they were actual vernacular used in conversation by human beings.

Suddenly, I began to notice it everywhere.

“It was sooooo funny! I was seriously LOLing!”

“He did what? WTF?”

“OMG! That is such a cute dog!”

Now, I understand typing them. It does save a slight amount of time to abbreviate when you’re tapping on your phone’s touchscreen. Not much time, but I’m not going to nitpick on that.

When you are using your mouth, though, you are not saving time or effort. I contend that saying BRB is the EXACT SAME amount of effort as “be right back.” Try it now. You’ll notice that there is the same number of syllables in each phrase. One just happens to make me want to shout at you.

I can’t even imagine what some of the great writers would say if they accidentally stumbled into a time machine and ended up in 2012. Romeo and Juliet definitely wouldn’t have been the same if Shakespeare had tried to write it in this time:


Juliet: Romeo, Romeo. WWY?

Romeo: I’m right here. TTYL. HAK.


So, for the sake of everyone, or more importantly, for the sake of my mental state, please, please, please stop using acronyms when you’re talking. You aren’t saving any time. You are just driving me to an early grave.

Of course, I assume most of the people who are guilty of over-abbreviation aren’t reading this post. It is far too wordy. If it can’t fit in a Twitter message, it’s worthless.

For these people I have summarized my entire point. Hopefully this gets through to you:

YAUIDMN. SN. PATY. (Translated for those who can still use actual words: Your acronym usage is driving me nuts. Stop now. Please and thank you.)


28 thoughts on “RU SRS?: The English Language is Dead

  1. LMAO!
    Okay, just so you know, that is the first time I have ever written that acronym, but I am guilty of a thousand OMGs!
    I guess I have been sucked into the black hole created by all that saved time!!


  2. I totally agree. I was just complaining yesterday that people are so concerned with the debt we are leaving our great-great-grandchildren (as we should be) but nobody seems to be concerned about the spelling and grammar that will be left to them! 🙂


  3. I used to live in Washington, D.C.–the land of acronyms and couldn’t stand them then. Now they’eve spread like a super virus. I’m old fashioned enough to type everything out and say the full words, even if it takes me a bit longer. At least I know I’ll be understood. Or at least I hope so.

    Great post!


  4. I am guilty of some acronyms but it is way overboard today. I am a supervisor and have had to “fuss” about employees using these acronyms and emoticons in information that clients will see. Now when I’m chatting with my friend, we do roflmao all the time as well as “yell” WTF! But we do try to keep it to a minimum.


  5. First of all, I like Ron Paul…he can be funny, which is of course the most important quality in a world leader.

    On the other stuff…Isn’t it sad? Think about the children! Pretty soon kids reading levels will depend on how many letters are in the acronym they read. Of course, spelling might be a little easier if everyone just uses initials…but, life isn’t easy…I had to learn real words and look at me now…I can blog.

    Sorry…I went off a little…


  6. Thinking about the decline of the English language makes me feel so very sad. I always recall Orwell’s 1984 whereby the government purposely diminish vocabulary so as to suppress opposition. If you cannot express discontent, eventually you lose the capacity to think it.

    We now do this ourselves. We have become our own language tyrants.


  7. I lol’d! Haha but I agree, text talk is cool for texting but dont understand why people incorporate it in everyday speech. Another pet peeve is when someone isnt abbreviating they just write like they’d fail a 1st grade spelling test. 3t juz dnt make any senz ya no!


  8. Pingback: Who can Translate Netlish? « Jeff Oakes

  9. I agree with you one hundred and ten percent! I can’t stand it either. My friends have joined in this terrible language and I seem to be the only one who’s against it! Whenever they think something’s funny, they say “LOL!” instead of actually laughing…. it’s ridiculous…. I just want to slap them in the face and tell them that saying “LOL” isn’t equivalent to LAUGHING. :/ I just don’t know what to do with these people anymore 😦


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