Tag Archives: language

Everyone needs a (decipherable) voice

Hmm, about this time of year I like to write a blog post, hehe. I know it’s been aaaages, but I’ve been seduced by the whole microblogging/social media malarky instead as well as a bit of dabbling on CriB, BiNS, hampstr and The Kitten Channel.

But finally I have been annoyed enough to write a post on my very own blog! Anyways, nuff rambling, here it is:

The comments on this post from Created in Birmingham started a train of thought that confused me. There are similar comments on a post about the Cue Club from ages ago.

For example:

dayum dats tight… make me wun..lol jux kiddin’ but yea props tu who made dis

While it’s important that everyone has a voice, if no-one apart from that person’s friends (if that) can understand it, what’s the point?

That’s why we have rules of spelling and grammar in English, right? So that we can talk to people other than our immediate friends (using inspeak).

I am overly aware that it might just be me getting old. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand these comments. Maybe they are just for kids to show off to each other. But what worries me is that when these kids need to have a conversation with, say, people in authority, about more important things, they won’t have the language to do it.

It’s the same sort of thing as text speak creeping into pupil’s exam papers etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love language and inventing new words. I’m fully aware that language can and should evolve, but not this fast. This could create real barriers between generations.

Am I worrying unnecessarily? I myself am guilty of using abbreviations and inspeak in communications with my friends, is it only a matter of time before this creeps into more serious conversations with strangers?

I love lolspeak, but hate text speak, why is that? Is it because lolspeak is very deliberate and you have to know the rules before you break them, whereas text speak just seems ignorant and lazy? Am I just being agist?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, as long as I can understand them!

Slash Diction

I’ve been doing a lot of Search Engine Optimisation in work lately and this led me to wonder how one would blog about something one didn’t like without inadvertantly promoting it by increasing its web presence. “No publicity is bad publicity” as the saying goes. So I came up with an idea: what if I were to put a slash between each letter, let’s say for example R/o/b/b/i/e W/i/l/l/i/a/m/s.

It could have been any character I suppose, but with the slashes it’s still quite easy to read and slashes also have quite a negative connotation, appropriately. Let’s measure web presence as the number of results a name returns in Google. Try it for yourself if you like: search for R/o/b/b/i/e W/i/l/l/i/a/m/s in Google and you’ll get a grand total of zero hits, yay! but without the slashes a Google search of ‘the web’ returns over two million results (at the time of writing).

Hmm, I’ve never heard of anyone doing this before on the web, maybe I’ve started a brand new interweblog meme phenomenom! I’m gonna call it “Slash Diction”. Of course this could eventually backfire on me and all the R/o/b/b/i/e W/i/l/l/i/a/m/s fans could start including Slash Diction in their fan sites too! Oh well, it’ll be interesting to see if this takes off, I’ve always wanted to invent something!!

stop stopping

I have a bone to pick with my other half. His twisted brummie dialect has started rubbing off on me. The problem is that he uses the word ‘stop’ when he means ‘stay’, this seemingly innocent little annoyance becomes rather alarming when he’s giving me directions, such as “stop in this lane”. Wha? he wants me to park up in the middle of the road?!

But now he’s even got me thinking that way. This morning, the weather lady on the telly announced: “I’m pleased to say the rain in London will be stopping.” It took me a good few seconds to realise that there wasn’t a drought on in the capital that I hadn’t heard about!

This has left me wondering: is this really a brummie-ism or just a bounder-ism? brummies own up!