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To reply or 2 ‘RPLY’!

The SMS and WhatsApp lingo can wreck the structure of the language by their mere usage

Of the hundreds of messages I received that day, one text was particularly irksome. It said: “Hi, r u cmng tmrw?”

How was I supposed to decipher it? I burst out in a rage at the sender. Did I look like a code-breaker to her, someone who can understand such other-worldly language? Ignoring the message was the most apt decision I thought I could make. But my intentions were soon gauged by the mouse potato. The next message I received was: “Pls rply asap!”

Here I thought, “Sorry my ‘dear’ friend, I’ll definitely reply when I construe what you said.” And she was brushed off.

Then, thrown upon me like arrows were a series of question marks.

This time, I lost my patience. So, I replied with a simple “Yes!”.

“Okie, ty [with a smiling emoji],” was the response.

I was not confounded by her but rather felt sad for her.

Such abbreviations can become extremely sinister, with the capability of wrecking the structure of the language by their mere usage. Long gone are the days when texts were charged by the number of alphabets they contained. Dawned upon us is the era of free instant messaging. So why not utilise it to achieve maximum benefits. Besides, what harm could one extra letter in a word do!

That texting must never replace human interaction, is something one must always remember. The correct tone or gestures can never be expressed properly via text messages. Thus, the real meaning can be lost through a text conversation. Moreover, the habit of using shorthand could embarrass us in formal situations, where our helpless fingers could end up typing in the same way as they do while casual texting. Besides, not everyone knows all the abbreviations.

So, the next time you “textspeak”, remember that it is not appropriate for every setting (textiquette is what some people call it). The way shorthand is getting incorporated into our daily lives, students (especially young children) could face trouble in basic grammar, which could have a negative effect on their writing abilities because they are too familiar with abbreviations such as ‘u’ for ‘you’, ‘idk’ for ‘I don’t know’, ‘ur’ for ‘your’. Though I am quite sure that these abbreviations are going to make their way into our dictionaries very soon, I still hope for the contrary. Long live the ‘proper’ English Language!

shuchikasharma2000@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 2:35:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/to-reply-or-2-rply/article30830151.ece

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