Friday, October 23, 2009

Word of the Week: Ruin

As in, 'Are you in?' -- my mother's latest favourite text 'word'.

Honestly, where does she get them?

It wasn't so long ago she and Dad were bamboozled by programming the VCR, and while this is still the case, somehow they've both overtaken me in the uptake of txt lingo. And it's not just them. Some of my most highly educated and literate friends will regularly send me text messages with more numbers in than letters.

'Gr8 2 cu lst nt. Will u a10d 2moros 4rum on Clim8 chnge?'

Wtf? (yes, I know that one).

Is this a language I should learn? Sure, it's concise and efficient, but is it effective? Affecting? Or does it just annoy the hell out of me because I'm a bit uptight about grammar?

I once responded to one of Mum's ubiquitous 'Wru's (I believe it means Where are You?) with a message I thought would highlight the laziness and paucity of information this type of language usually conveys: 'aaht'
She didn't reply.
'So did you understand my message?' I challenged her later.
'Oh, yes. You were at Annabelle's having tea,' she said. 'I didn't ring because I didn't want to interrupt.'

That's me in my box.


  1. Alright, I have to ask. What?

  2. I agree that seeing 'txt mesg' english compression outside of the phone arena is fairly annoying. I can't put a finger on why exactly, perhaps because it's indicative of declining standards in general? There are a few businesses out there named using pigeon english words, e.g. 4word consulting (er, who my mate works for - I'm not that bored to have searched them out... Yet), so there's possibly a 'look I'm different' element to its use?

    First text messages, then the world.... muhahahaha!

  3. inspired by moreso than related.. my phone is set to predictive text and like your mother is expert at inventing words.. But what I find most marvellous about my phone is the extravagance of its predictions. Why when I type the letters which clearly point to me meaning 'will' does it speculate I intended 'wilk'? Or I type the letters for 'in' or 'go' and rather than one of these safe bets it offers me "im". And to add insult to injury I type the letters of my own name and it suggests 'Ben' (!) bfn

  4. Ah, I don't have one of those phones that finishes words before you've written them, but I think it would drive me mad. My own name starts out as 'Papa' until I add the last letter, which amuses me every time.

    Re numbers in business names, for some reason they just remind me of 90s boy bands.