Gregory Porter

The idea behind “R U KSU?!” is respectable and has the best of intentions behind it.

My only problem with the whole thing is the title. There’s something incredibly ironic about a university promoting a diversity program that uses “netspeak” to attract students. If one were to use netspeak in a writing assignment or research paper, he or she would earn an instant failing grade but, whatever, let’s go ahead and use netspeak in the title of a major campus-wide diversity program. I just don’t get it.

As a graphic/web designer, I’ve seen this kind of thing time and time again. When older business owners start a program, campaign or business that is supposed to attract high school to college-aged kids, they instantly turn to one-letter representations of words. I personally avoid using such marketing techniques unless the product being advertised is to young children. This form of advertising attracts kids and gets adults interested in something that seems current.

My generation, however, is extremely immersed in techno-babble, which unfortunately includes a slew of abbreviations, one-letter substitutes for words and “leet speak” (or should I say “[email protected]”?). Uber pwnage, broseph. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself on this matter. Personally, I find the current generation’s degradation of the English language to be ridiculous and stupid. It’s annoying. Does anybody out there agree with me, or am I just so disconnected from society that I wasn’t included in the Cc of the mass email to under-20-somethings that specified just what is and what isn’t cool these days?

Are YOU KSU? Yeah, I guess I am. In fact, of course I am. I respect this program because it actually spells out three-letter words, kind sir.

R U KSU? What? Erm… T G BLURRRGh PIRATE YAAARRGH me mateys? My confusion may have something to do with the fact that every time I see RUKSU written out I read it in my head as, “ROOOkayESSyooooo”… in the voice of a pirate… which is kind of awesome. It’s less awesome when my brain reads it in the voice of Soulja Boy.

I love that this program exists. Previous university programs like this, though in existence, didn’t do much at all to actually spread awareness and tolerance. Kent’s program seems to be very successful so far, and that’s awesome. Seriously, my only problem is the title. Netspeak, even when texted to me on a phone, annoys me to a certain extent. It annoys me even more when my friend texts me, “wat r u ^ 2?” This program’s title perpetuates the idea that netspeak is OK to use in everyday conversation or chatting. Simply put, it’s not, and we need to eradicate it from the face of the Earth.

Wonderful program, horrible title. In fact, I almost feel bad for writing this article. Almost.

All I am saying is that this university needs to treat its students like adults, and this title feels like it would better serve middle-school-aged kids.

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