Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IHA! How Will We Ever Adapt?

It's the great conundrum for someone who works at making every sentence just right. No, I'm not talking to only the writer-types reading this, but those who write notes of thanks, write letters for a boss, or journal to maintain his or her sanity. Everyone writes, right?

Scenario 1 - So tell me, what would the 87 year old grandmother say to a thank you note that read, "Dear G'ma. Thx 4 the diary u sent for my b'day. GMBO at the cute puppy on the cover. G'ma, I'm 12. Puppies r 4 babies. LUWAMH, Maggs.

Scenario 2 - Or, how about the manager reading a memo from his recent grad boss, "IMHO, ASAP in this ARE, we must msg our customers in a language they rel8 to. We must appear SF, K. FWIW, we can offer training in this new language. If not, I think YBS. TTYL.

Scenario 3 - As far maintaining sanity via journal, well, can you imagine coming back to this journal 20 years from now: "WIBNI bb grl hadn't climbed into the kitchen sink and eaten those coffee grounds 2day. LSHMBB. Diaper was disgusting. FMTYEWTK to be sure. HHIS. I'll run the disposal next time. TGIF, I couldn't take 1 more thing. Finally, I get to L2M and relax. TAFN.

Not only does it all sound like gibberish, who in their right mind could wrap their head around all of the combinations of acronyms that could come about? Are seventh grade English teachers going to now have to include acronymic sentence structure with and without punctuation?

So, how does the modern woman adapt to today's language? She looks up the latest lists, the hottest acronyms and buzzwords, so she can keep up with what her kids are chatting about online, on the cell, and passing back and froth in class. Then, she breaks the binding on that new copy of Webster's and gets back to the real world and writing real thank you notes, letters and memos, and manuscripts, lots and lots of manuscripts (for you writer-types reading this). 

Oh, and if you are curious about the translations of the messages above, they are below (If I could've flipped them upside down I would have just to mess with you like they do in the newspaper).

Scenario 1 Translation: Dear Grandmother, Thanks for the diary you sent for my birthday. Giggling my butt off at the cute puppy on the cover. Grandmother, I'm 12. Puppies are for babies. Love you with all my heart, Maggs

Scenario 2 Translation: In my humble opinion, as soon as possible in this acronym rich environment, we must message our customers in a language they can relate to. We must appear surfer friendly, okay. For what it's worth, we can offer training in this new language.  If not, I think you'll be sorry. Talk to you later.

Scenario 3 Translation: Wouldn't it be nice if baby girl hadn't climbed into the kitchen sink and eaten those coffee grounds today. Laughing so hard my belly is bouncing. Diaper was disgusting. Far more than you ever wanted to know to be sure. Hanging head in shame. I'll run the disposal next time. Thank goodness it's Friday, I couldn't take one more thing. Finally, I get to listen to music and relax. That's all for now.

What ridiculous message would you send to your boss if you knew for certain he or she would never decipher it? Have your kids taken on speaking and writing in this new verbiage (this being the true definition of verbiage)? Do you think the workplace will ever adopt this way of communicating?

Life in Penned Perspective by Lindy Chaffin Start