I'm learning, kind of on the job, the short cuts associated with texting. LIke many, these abbreviated usages are working their way into my writing and i find myself using "thru" "u r" and 4 without reflecting that the platform i'm working on is not a small screen. As a matter of fact, languages flexibility is pretty gr8.
We all recognize words that have become natural parts of our vocabulary because of the hyper attachment we have to our communication technology. Language is always in flux and just as cassette was once a new word to us, so are spam, itsy, tweet and friend as a verb. Someone somewhere is clever enough to be collecting the terms--or there's an app for that.
I am not one of those people who grinds her teeth at the shortcuts or finds herself all itchy when a writer uses its instead of it's. Language is a forest that grows in all directions and is affected by atmopsheric changes reguarly; shedding the old growth in a healthy way, nurturing the new and greener stuff.
While I find myself getting all savvy and stuff with the growing vocabulary of this age, i'm also indulging in a practice i've had for a long time, particulary when talking about writing. I extend language as well, make it more complicated to make it more clear. Okay that's confusing.
Here's the story. A writing student wrote a memoir piece about her childhood and the family relations. When people weren't home, she'd sneak into the dog bed and take a nap. She described the worn down comfort of the pillow, the familiar smell, the size of the bed cocooning her till she fell asleep. Her description made the dog bed so so appealing; she got us through the detail and the sensory images that included smell and touch and comfort.
For the rest of the semester, when anyone was short on description, who was not providing the experience with the reader, our recommendation was usually: we need to be in the dog bed. Referring to the actual success seemed to communciate more to the writing student than show don't tell.
I find similar examples all the time that morph into my instructional lingo: march that poem like a thousand heartadches; where's the little baby to guide us here? Of course you've got to know what I'm talking about, but I also have other phrases that relate outside of a specific class.
Where's the boiling point of the poem?
At what point does the story root out through the sub soil?
Are these necessary details or thorny, itchy weeds we'll just have to pull out later?
I am happy with language going in all kinds of directions: shorter and longer, being user friendly and secretive, bordering on gibberish and glowing transparent.
Clinging to "never ending a sentence with a preposition" is a grammatical mullet.
The only real moments that make my blood curl is the political masterminding of language. Taking innocent words and demonizing them to advance a tyrrany. Forcing them to represent a limited descripton has become a technique for categorically condemning entire populations: gay, muslim, immigrant. This is fascinating, how language is so flexible, it can be bent to one's will. Whether it is used thoughtfully or thoughtlessly reminds us how powerful it is.
And for that reason, I always answer a waiter who say's "Parmesan?"
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