R U 4 Real?

I have always taken a little bit of pride in the fact that I am pretty good with grammar and spelling.  I may not always use correct grammar here, as on the blog I tend to write more like I talk...which is not always grammatically correct.  I often use words like stinkin' and y'all, and I rather enjoy an overabundant use of ellipses (...), in case you haven't noticed.  Sometimes, I even use CAPITAL LETTERS in inappropriate ways.

I bet you never even knew that you were reading the words of the 1992 C___ Elementary School Spelling Bee winner, did you?  True story.

Now you're probably all intimidated and mentally critiquing your own writing, wondering what I'm picking on in your blog posts, right?  (I mean, a fourth-grade spelling bee champ is pretty impressive, no?  It's not?)  Well, don't worry, because I'm pretty sure none of you are committing my biggest pet peeve of all...


You know what I'm talking about....
R U there?
Y did u do that?

It really makes me want to throw something.  Or throw up, one or the other.  Now, I can imagine there might be a time and place for text speak...in an actual text message, for instance.  However, with the advent of full-keyboard phones, smart phones that practically text for you, and the like, I can't find nearly as much justification for not just typing out a word.  Personally, I have never been a fan of the use of abbreviations for short words (most notably 'u' and 'r'), even in texting.  How much harder is it to type TWO extra letters and make a real word??

Anyway, like I said, I can deal with it in actual text messages.  Whatever, it's not really a big deal.  What I CANNOT and REFUSE to deal with are COLLEGE STUDENTS using text speak in answering test questions and communicating with an instructor (namely, me, in case you couldn't guess).

No, I am totally not kidding. 

It's bad enough that they sometimes use little smileys : ) and LOL when emailing me, but those I can get past, as long as it's not too often.  There are no good ways to convey emotion or joking in email without the use of those little helpers, so I deal with that. 

However, here is an excerpt from an email I received from a student last semester (name of student and college withheld, obviously...)
i was wondering about my chapter 6 test i turned n it hasnt been graded n didnt know if it was counted or not. thank u.
Yes, I am totally serious.  For your enjoyment, please note the run-on sentence, with a complete lack of punctuation or capitalization, and of course, the use of text speak.  This is not the first and certainly won't be the last email I have received with similar grammar (if you can call it that).  Seriously??  You know they got away with this to an extent in high school if they think it's okay to use phrasing like that in college.  Am I right?  I know I sound like an uptight old geezer, but what are these kids thinking??

I realize that this informal, abbreviated form of communication is partly because of our reliance on email in today's world.  These kids grew up using it, and probably have no idea how to actually draft a formal letter of any kind.  (Even if they learned it in school, I doubt they have ever actually used it.  I shudder to think at some resumes and cover letters being submitted for jobs now.)  Email is a less-formal means of communication, certainly, but some people just take it too far.

And don't even get me started on the five-word, incomplete-sentence, punctuation-free answers I get to essay questions.  I've used up my rant quota for today....that one will have to wait.

Maybe 2moro.


  1. Seriously. Someone had to say it. It's ridiculous! I'm addicted to the :), however. Mostly because I'm pretty sure my mother in law doesn't know what it is, and I know she's totally perplexed by my emails.

  2. The mother in law comment just cracked me up! Also, this drives me crazy. I always say that McDonald's started the horrible gramm. fad. "i'm lovin' it." I teach third grade. Week four of spelling is contractions. I actually had a mother write me a note and wonder why I counted "i'm" against her child. I told her. She cut out the McDonld's logo and sent it to me. Are you kidding me? Then, Chik-fil-A joined in. At least they give out books in the kids meal or I might lose it. Texting is killing our kids even in third grade. Thank goodness they will type alot and Word can fix MOST of it for them! I am with you on being annoyed!

  3. Jae just reinforced what I think - I am sure that texting is the reason no-one can spell these days.

    I get people mailing me in a business context who write things like, "wud th@ date suit u?"

    And I want to say, "it will never suit me!"

    But anyway!!!

  4. hahahahahaha. i get this from my students all of the time! the worst is when i am STRUGGLING to figure out what the hell they're saying!

    i'm as guilty as anyone in comments: i do not use capitals, but that's pure laziness on my part.... :)

  5. I KNEW we were kindred spirits. I held off texting until just a few months ago, and I use whole words, punctuation, and capitalization. Anything else makes me cringe.

    I DO use emoticons, though, specifically :) and ;).

  6. Now that people are using their big sausage fingers to press tiny buttons on their phones to email, submit class assignments, and even blog, the abbreviations are probably here to stay. But we don't have to like it!


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