You know that moment when folks try to say everything yet they end up saying nothing. And NO! I don’t mean those instances when your heart is filled with words eager to burst forth and your mouth decides to go on a vacation. I mean when people try to communicate and end up confusing you.
That was exactly the feeling I got when I first came upon this.
“OASN Wekky, Wz wong wid u?”
The writer I believe meant to say: “On a serious note Wekky, What is wrong with you?”
I was appalled to say the least but then that’s the world’s definition of trendy these days and my disapproval would be conveniently taken for being snotty and maybe stuck up.
Let me give you a few other examples to lighten the mood 😁
SGTM – Sounds Good To Me (Not to me!)
TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read (Exactly why we don’t gel, if you didn’t tell me I won’t know what this means)
OBVI – Obviously (I think the acronym sounds like the name of a cartoon character)
WHATEVS – Whatever (But really, you’re just two words away from getting it right)
These abbreviations come in different forms, depending on the conjurer’s grasp of the whole thing. Ranging from the passives to the extremes, capable of starting up a migraine. Another ugly side to it is that it is highly subjected to misinterpretations. Believe me, I thought the afore mentioned was written in a foreign language or some machine language codes.
OK! Let’s take it back a bit… If my memory serves, a germane rule for using abbreviations is to put your audience first. Ask yourself: will the abbreviation make the sentence easier to read, or will it confuse the reader? And even when it sounds like a good idea, you should consider next if it can be easily taken out of the context you intended.
Bringing it right back, the problem is not just with these abbreviations, the challenge is that we lace our conversations with a lot of ambiguity, unnecessary pseudonyms, and as seen reoccurring these days – ridiculous abbreviations, so much that the meaning or intent of our conversations is lost in these supposed beautifications.
In our efforts to write or sound contemporary and social enough, we forget that styles and culture may continually evolve but the fundamental/basic rules of communication are quite indelible.
Trust me, I’m all for innovations and constructive trends, I am a strong advocate for transformational change. But I began to have issues with the kind of “upgrade” that has successfully degraded our sense of uprightness, and in this case, sucked the life out of courteousness, emotional intelligence, brevity, professionalism, and lots more, in our conversations.
Now I don’t want to totally dismiss the fact that it seems to be an easy to understand version for the lay-man out there and the problem is not that these “funkifications” are not relieving, in fact, you don’t get to spend so much time as you would if you stuck to the not-too-contemporary ways. But come to think of it, when the meaning is lost (as often is the case), you get to expend even a larger chunk of your time trying to explain that – “this is what you meant” and “this is what you didn’t mean.”
We can save ourselves the drama and definitely the explanations when we maintain the culture of getting it right the first time – Saying (in this case writing) it as it is, with not so much as any probability of it being misinterpreted.
I understand that in our world today, we try too hard to not do things the way it used to be done, and of course this would have been a plus for us if a large number of the new methods we propose don’t take us further away from the intended, if they don’t leave us worse than they found us.
P.S: It is not my intention to condemn you if you do a lot of “short-hands” or force a particular lifestyle down your throat, I just believe that conversations were a lot easier when we didn’t have to know so many codes. It takes determination and some measure of discipline and you’ll be well on your way to writing(communicating) better.
What do you think? Are you team “shorthand” or team “understand”? Let me know your thoughts!
Photo Credit: USQ|memegenerator|imgflip