Gnashing teeth

I feel guilty if I shorten a word to miss its vowels

Are you the kind of person who grimaces every time you read a hacked up “txt”-like messages? Are you the kind of person who would rather listen to nails being dragged across chalk-boards and suffer the consequences than hack English and Aranglish words when sending mobile text messages or through Internet chat windows? Are you the kind of person who automatically label those who habitually use “ppl” to supposedly mean “people” and “w/” to mean “with” and rather shout out “LOL” than actually laugh as simple lazy individuals who should be put out of their misery out of compassion for future generations?

I must admit I am. I feel guilty if I shorten a word to miss its vowels, so rather than doing that, I actually dig into the vocabulary store to find a shorter synonym!

I know. Call me anal, but I don’t really care. Maybe it’s just my age, but it takes me an age (with a face that looks like it has just had a bad experience with a very bitter lemon) to read that “form” of communicable language – if you can call it that – and even longer to comprehend what the heck the person is talking about. It is even worse when it’s an adult who uses language in that abrogated form.

Consider this comment entered earlier today for instance. The system rightly (in my opinion) regarded it as spam and into the big bucket it went. Through my regular rifling through that bucket, I realised that it is legitimate and as such – and to the music of nails on chalk-boards – resuscitated it unmolested.

dis is so damn perfect…….da whole idea is awesum…..dis competition proves dt beauty is nt wearn biknis n standin naked infrnt ov da world… is 2 covr urself n luk hw elegant n beautiful dey luk lyk dis….keep it up!!!n u all miss arab contestant u all r superb….. 😉



  1. Butterfly

    Hmmmm .. I admit that I use this language but only for text messages and emails to my close friends but certainly not for blogging or commenting on posts or in any other form of professional communications.

    Yes I might be lazy sometimes but I don’t feel guilty for that 🙂

  2. barry

    I generally type full words except for acronyms like LOL, WTF, and OMG, and often it’s done for an ironic or humorous twist. Even when text messaging, I don’t like shortening words unless I really need to get a message out fast, and even then I am compelled to add punctuation.

  3. Post

    o’oh! Please don’t get offended by this people! Take it as a fun/funny subject if you will.

    Okay, let’s have a competition, write a response to this in txtglish or aranglish or brokensmsglish and let’s grade the worst and the best at the end of this exercise.

    Winner gets a couple of “Blogger” stickers!

  4. Ali

    People might think that this form of communicable language is faily new and stylish. Hence, it’s OK only for the new generation to use. Actually, the same was used during the age of telegraphic communications. Here’s an example of that:

    b: PLS CHK CCT # 1 & ADVS+
    a: WLL DO. MOM PLS+
    b: TYT+

    That kind of communication was used due the slowness of lines and equipment, and the tariff applied (teleocomms companies used to charge by number of characters.. Mow you know why Batelco is charging for the Internet by volume!). Of course, reasons are now totally different but the habbit is almost the same.

  5. Simon Columbus

    ! <4n \/\/r!73 4 r35p0n53 !n 1337, !f u’ð 7!|<3 !+.

    ! +#!n|< #3’5 ju5+ 4 7!++73 5<r!p+|<!ðð!3-7!|<3 ðu/\/\8455. ! #4+3 p30p7z \/\/#0 f4n<y +0 \/\/r!+3 7!|<3 +#!5. U <4n’+ r34ð !+ 4nð !+ 700|<5 u67y !!!11!oneeleven


  6. I

    Best short message ever was sent by Sir Charles James Napier, British General and Commander-in-chief of India when he subjugated the East Indians after the siege of Hydrabad in the province of Sindh.

    The message read, “Peccavi”. This was the Latin for ‘I have sinned’ a clever pun on the word Sindh.

    Beat that modern generation !

  7. Post

    Simon, the space ship must have landed on a different planet, as I do hope that was just random keys you pressed! 😯

  8. Post

    I. That was very elegant indeed. However, I have another confession to make, I am absolutely atrocious at cryptic crossword puzzles as much as I would love to have a go, I just can’t get my mind bent far enough to understand what the heck they’re going on about.

    So had I been the receiver of Sir Napier’s message, I would have naturally sent him something like:



  9. doncox

    I never read messages in text-speak. It is very unlikely that they would say anything worth the effort. It does make sense to use it for messages on phones, although even there, new phones have more speed and better screens, so I doubt if it’s really necessary. Using it in a forum is just showing off. ____On the other hand, I do sometimes use acronyms such as OTOH in email messages. Probably I shouldn’t.

  10. Funaki

    Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

    Joke aside, i am guilty of using slangs in text messages. Part of the reason is that the phones keyboard are small and hard to type on but when it comes to commenting over internet or sending an email, slangs shouldnt be use because you dont have a frigging excuse for using them. Makes you look like a 13 year old.

  11. TwoTired

    1 (4n 7yp3 3n71r3 m3554635 1n |3375p34k w17h0u7 h4v1n6 70 |1f7 4 f1n63r 7h1nk1n6 480u7 17 :P.

  12. Post
  13. underthepalmtree

    funaki….that is so interesting you and your readings are right on, I was able to read that just as fast as I would have. Wow!

    Simon, you are the master. I cannot figure out hardly a thing you said.

    All that I can say is Nokias rock for fast texting, and yes I use the LOL and w/ and n but the rest I type out.

    I actually was having a conversation with a reasonable man yesterday in how texting will be the demise of proper english for my childrens’ generation.

    A commercial in the States for Verizon shows a guy asking a group of ladies to prom via texting and says to them, “You prom me”? nuts.
    Instead of, “would you like to go to the prom”?

    what a fun topic. 🙂

  14. Capt. Arab

    You will have to agree that using that kind of communication on a regular level does (without a doubt) ruin any composing power one has. I suffer from spelling mistakes (which I never used to) all because of word-processing which made life so easier for everybody, though my spelling capabilities suffered in the process (spell-check). This is a nation of abbreviations, we have a couple of youths at work, just listening to them talking makes you wonder what the hell they are talking about. I guess we all use the technique when we want to reduce a txt message from 2 to 1. Personally I use the obvious like U for you, 2 for two, to or too, c for see, etc.. That’s me I guess, I’m the Capt. I’m allowed 🙂

  15. mishmish

    Was that person from the Caribbean? There’s language like that going on….

    I have to say though, I used to use ‘sms language’ long before sms existed — anyone who’s ever used a telex machines as a from of daily communication ( just before we had email in Bahrain), will be so familiar with it.

    I think it can be very useful, but we and I mean that collectively – have to be quite careful, because it is starting to erode everyday language bit by bit and it wd nt b srprsng if 1 dy nbdy wrts nrmlly anymre.

    When I see it like that, I also cringe, but when I am in a hurry, I am guilty of it too — shame on me, as I enjoy writing and work in communications, so I love language..

    So many companies are doing it to their brand names too, ever notices? RBK ….Reebok for example. FCUK kind of-ish – they played on the fact that we are already used to reading into shorthand and shaping the letters so a word makes sense.. 😉

    Anyways, I think it’s here to stay, but a few good men AND women should at least ensure that language doesn’t go.

    PS. I also think we all are getting very lazy in emails. So often we leave in mistakes, people write in a hurry, don’t check – it’s quite astonishing.

  16. Redbelt

    I must admit that I am as Anal in this regard as you Mahmood.
    I can’t bring my self to use (u) or (pls). I genuinely feel retarded. But some top managers in large companies are doing it, so…

  17. Mike


    English speakers have an incredible ability to sort out a jigsaw of words rather easily “if you I that told you read this could” you would normally re-sort the words in a heartbeat, even if the odd completely wrong word is included for good measure……..

    Try doing that to a French speaker 🙂

  18. ehsan

    mike, rmeidns me of tihs – it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.

  19. Lynn

    I can’t stand it either. If you want to talk about cringing, my father who is in his 80s, e-mails me using that language. Now,that is definitely worse than fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I don’t know if it is laziness or if he thinks that that is how you are supposed to write e-mails.

    I could excuse it in a text message though. Did they originally charge per line or something?


    ur ryt. it gts prtty anoyng whn evry1 strts doin tht, ithnk thy shud jst go bk 2 rgulr englsh. bt thn, englsh iznt rly a romntc language lyk itlian or frnch so dznt mtter tht mch. ah, scrwit.

  21. steve the american

    If Sir Charles sent me a message reading “Peccavi,” first, I’d wonder what a Peccavi was and why he needed more of them. Then I’d wonder why he was pestering the Indians and not just leaving them the bloody hell alone.

  22. juliyya

    I believe we can thank texters for shortening the word “absolutely” to “yes”

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