Opinion: Ur iniblity 2 spel makes u look stuped

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter is a junior visual communication design major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

I never jumped on board with the whole “text speak” thing when I was younger. Then again, I wasn’t exactly the kind of kid who hung out with people who were subject to such fads, and I valued my vocabulary and ability to spell properly more than any self-respecting 11-year-old should have. Still, I have never understood the need to abbreviate everything, from simple three-letter words, to entire sentences. It pains me a little bit to realize that “Hey, ur blog post ttl made me LOL, srs,” can in any way be understood by a human being.

It’s a problem that the current generation is redefining our language. Somehow the word “literally” has been distorted to now refer to anything but the literal. For instance: “OMG my head is like literally going to explode if I have another pop quiz this week.” Well, I can only hope so. When did it become okay to swap word usage at one’s leisure? Than, then; there, their, they’re; to, too, two; your, you’re; lie, lay; set, sit; who, which, that; the list goes on. How is it necessary to abbreviate “you” to “U”? Is anybody actually laughing out loud when they say “LOL”? LOLs are lies. Is there anything more annoying than telling someone something over text and having their response simply contain the letter “K”?

People will judge you by the words you use and the way you speak. The same applies to how you write, even online or through text. Netspeak makes you come off as unintelligent, and I’ve generally found that people who use netspeak excessively are actually quite stupid. Take it from a guy who receives poorly written hate mail on a regular basis; an inability to spell dulls any message that you’re trying to convey. You could have the most intelligent and well-thought-out points to back up your opinions, but if you cannot spell correctly your thoughts may as well have been tossed in the trash. It’s kind of like baking amazing cookies and then covering them in anchovy paste. Sure, there are cookies somewhere under that mass of pureed fish but who wants to dig through all of that to find them? Is that bad metaphor working for you? Then again, most people who use netspeak don’t have amazing thoughts to put down on the page in the first place.

There are, of course, exceptions to everything I have said here. I would never judge someone who was actively trying to seek help in his or her writing and genuinely had a problem understanding, especially if that person had a learning disorder or didn’t speak English as his or her first language. I can understand actual misspellings in these cases; I simply have a harder time with purposeful misspellings, as is the case with netspeak. In a generation that has access to the Internet is there any reason to not have a good grasp of language skills? You don’t have to buy a dictionary anymore or even drive to the library ? it’s online for free.

I don’t care if I’m writing for class, posting in a blog, texting a friend, or updating my Facebook status; I always apply the same level of care to my writing. The way you write is a direct translation of how you process thoughts, and I personally prefer to convey my thoughts intelligently. Call me uptight, call me whatever you like, but if you use netspeak to do so, all you’re doing is fueling my flame.