Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Short and Not So Sweet


Language isn’t a static thing; it morphs and changes as time goes on. The usage and popularity of words can shift often due to pop culture, technology and current events. Every generation speaks a bit differently than the former one, and the way the language changes can often be a mixed bag.

One aspect of language I’m not a fan of is the shortening of words, which seems to be more prevalent than ever. It’s not a new concept; people often want to make things easier and faster to say (“froyo” springs to mind). But likely with the advent of texting, abbreviating words has become even more commonplace, and then that shortening mentality easily turns into verbalization. I cringe when I hear someone shorten a word that doesn’t need shortening. I mean how lazy do people have to be change a two-syllable word to one syllable?

Words are useful. Words are fun. Words can create visual pictures. Words can transport you and make you think and feel and experience something. Words can say a lot. And while shortened words may have the “same” meaning as their unshortened counterparts, the impression they leave to me is an incomplete word. They just sound terrible to me, like they got amputated with a dull knife. And every fiber of my being just wants to finish that tortured fragmented word because they just make me so sad. [Pause.] Maybe it’s time I just buy myself a rocking chair and sit on a porch and complain about how my hip acts up when there’s a cold snap. [Sigh.]


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