In Defence Of Internet Shorthand

Amazingly enough, there are proponents of well formed grammar and proper spelling on IRC. I ran into one such fellow today, who claimed that shortening of the English language was an indication of the decline of our social consciousness, an “indication of barbarism” as he put it.

Here is my (cleaned up) retort:

… granted, this is a pretty short summary of my thoughts on the topic… but I thought I’d post it, if only to make people think about this very important issue. In a time when changing social values are constantly being attacked in favour of conservative standards, one needs to consider why these changes are occurring, and why they may indeed be beneficial to our species in the long run.

i’d have said that language is not something that is rigid and rule based but rather in a state of constant flux and evolution. you can moan about lol all you like but it makes you sound like a cock. - not BS! - the barbarism indicator!

See, if you compress looser (fail), you get loser (win) … language compression triumphs again!

the quoted part has grammar errors

These changes are occurring because people are trying to justify their laziness. Now I don’t give a crap about IRC, but about your whole reasoning.

Words construct thought process, not the other way around. Because if it was the case, we wouldn’t have to teach babies how to spell, but we would be communicating by babbling, farting and smelling each other’s asses.

If grammatical changes in the last decades were as you said, beneficial to our species, we wouldn’t see a wild grow of idiocy and lack of knowledge. And we wouldn’t be living in a decadent society were “easiness”, laziness and ugliness are established as standards in every corner of our lives. Good changes occur in long period of time, not because a whole generation of lazy kids can’t be bothered to type a 6 letters long word.

Having some “conservatives standards” isn’t necessary equal to “bad” or “fascist”.

7kilo: ur mom has grammar errorz :lol:

Strange how the ones I see using the most acronyms and OMFGLOLZPEAK shorthand online are the ones who can actually put a pretty eloquent sentence together… the programmers, the engineers, the geeks… these are the ones proliferating such chatisms. And they’re using them for 2 reasons: They’re efficient, and they’re humorous. Keep in mind, these grammatical changes are being used very constructively on a regular basis, and they very much have their place. There’s a reason the medical community uses medical shorthand and there’s a reason geeks use chatisms.

Your argument, sir, is tainted with fallacy. More specifically, the fallacy of Questionable Cause. Have you done a proper scientific study correlating the relationship between our accused growing idiocy and our change in grammar? In fact, have you done a study to see if the percentage of idiots per capita has even increased in recent times? Our lack of knowledge as a society is only perpetuated by such claims, good sir. You would do well to educate yourself before making such spurious and vacuous claims.

You’re right about language: it does help shape our thought processes. However, you’ve engaged in the old “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” argument, and unfortunately for you, come out on the wrong side. Your argument implies that without language, we would not be capable of complex thought processes. Being that being able to speak in the first place requires complex thought processes, your argument falls flat on its face. And what should we say of those people who are born deaf? Are they by nature incapable of complex thought? Furthermore, are they incapable of communicating, or expressing complex ideas through their nonverbal communications? I think not.

… I should also mention that it’s inconceivably difficult to communicate via gastrointestinal emissions. Any culture that successfully manages to do so would gain my respect as a significantly intelligent society.

Actually I’d like to suggest that perhaps good changes occur in a relatively short amount of time, whereas truly bad things take millennia to occur. Take for example the ongoing war between religions and our current state of environmental crisis stemming from poor carbon emission management and pollution. These things took ages to snowball to their current scale. Now take into account social revolutions that have freed people from slavery, societal changes that have led to acceptance of all people as human, and technological advances that have given us more enlightenment then their history ever could… these occurrences have happened relatively quickly in comparison. In 8 short years, Wikipedia has placed a veritable compendium of general human knowledge at the fingertips of the entire planet… for free. Imagine how much good it’s done so far, and how much it will continue to inform the masses… and this is only the start of the information age. 8 years of free knowledge and enlightenment vs at least 5,000 years of oppression. I’d rethink your comment if I were you ;)

I won’t bother to quote, so :

Don’t make YOUR case, or the case of developers the generality, the huge majority of people SMSstyling are young people without any kind of geekery.

I don’t have to make a scientific study about how many people are unable to write a single sentence without any error. Because I’m 21, and in my whole schooling I’ve seen people unable to write “français” in a french speaking country. I won’t even start talking about the percentage of young people who have actually read a SINGLE book in their whole life.

And for the deaf people, actually a very few of them are born deaf. In fact your argument is tainted with fallacy, and lack of real scientific knowledge, since the variety of illness causing deafness is so vast, like the diferrent degrees of deafness. And younger those people become deaf, longer and harder is their teaching.

I don’t give a flying crap about which one from mind and word came first. Fact is that language structure thought process. And yes, the smsstyling or whatever is the name you give it, is not any kind of beneficial evolution for language, beneficial for lazy fingers yes, for language hell no. Simplifying things doesn’t make them better but inaccurate.

Also even if it’s out of topic, I had a nervous laugh when “wikipedia” and “veritable compendium of general human knowledge” were mixed in the same sentence. Jesus Christ, even high school math articles are full of mistakes.

But it’s a nice counter example, wikipedia is a nice analogy to smsstyle, a huge mix of crap without any sort of serious control (because last I knew, a bunch of socialites without any knowledge about the subject, voting to decide if what is written is true doesn’t actually make what is written the TRUTH). Mediocrity raised up as a standard, opinions stated as the truth: welcome to wikipedia.

Ho and also, carbon emission doesn’t cause global warming.

As a final note, another symptom of those “short cut”'ed thought process, is the utterly annoying use of LINKS for the definition of words, as if people were too dumb to know the definition of a word(see: any wikipedia article), making those short cuts annoying long pathway, spreading thoughts in every ways without actually focusing right on the fucking subject. Like if the whole INTERNET was suffering from ADD. Making discuss looking like endless multilevel of quotes, as if the more links you post, the more knowledgeable you are.

btw, i despise acronyms tyvm.

now, what did you say about my mum ? ;]

Taken from IQ test somewhere around the year 2030, no one is really sure because they all forgot how to count.  

lol u tk him 2 da bar|?

that’s true innit?

choice, that’s the most effective argument I got out of this entire thread.

But you’re presuming the percentage of illiterate people is rising… when in fact, I’m fairly sure, per capita, it’s dropping. There are more educated people in the world than ever.

True, I don’t know much of the causes of deafness. I will proceed to research.

I never said anything about SMS… I was reffering to internet shorthand. “SMS is a communications protocol allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices.” - The ever useless Wikipedia.

The bunch of socialites you speak of include a plethora of actual encyclopedia authors, university professors, and professional specialists on a variety of topics. It may not be the most objective encyclopedia in the world, but when you consider how few people write most encyclopedias, and how many of those same kinds of people (read: professionals) are editing Wikipedia as we speak, you may start to realize that 1000 scholars can write a more objective book than 30.

Contextual links don’t distract from the focus… they simply provide additional information for those who want it. You don’t have to click them. If you feel the urge to click every one, you probably have ADD.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The National Academy of Sciences, two of the most well recognized scientific organizations in the world, disagree with you:

As do all but one of the rest of the highly respected scientific organizations that have done studies on the issue:…_climate_change … that article is ripe with references to the organizations’ websites themselves, so bash it 'cause it’s Wikipedia all you want, but the sources, which carry the true weight, are there for all to see.

there’s internet
and there’s the world.

as long as you can tell which is which, you may LOL all you want.

but global social conciousness? what, they have internet in rwanda now?
you ever seen a tibetan monk ROFL? on the other hand, you could argue
that “laughing out loud” is as important as “to be” and therefore LOL should
be as commonly used as BE.


I never said that the percentage of illiterate people is growing, I said that people with poor grammar and vocabulary are now the standard. You seem to have problems reading what I wrote. Like I never talked about sms but smsSTYLE, or whatever you call the action of using stupid acronyms in every “modern communicating devices”.

For wikipedia my claims remain, and I’m laughing really (crying in fact) if you sincerely believe that editors are professionals, or university teachers. If you would have other sources than wikipedia you would know that every serious university in the world block wikipedia and that respected teachers forbid their students to use it.

You would also know that a big part of the moderators, who once claimed to have Phd in theology (haha) got busted and were in fact, high school drop out. The vast majority of contributors know jack shit about serious issue. Because welcome to the real world, university professors and professionals specialists have way better to do and in fact, have no time to invest in a reverse war with some 16 years old high school drop out claiming to have a Phd in theology but who will win in the end since he has moderator’s rights (the Sceptre case).

I won’t even bother to engage in a debate about such a subject because I know that talking about this subject will always end in a links war with people like you who take correlations and numbers of links as scientific proofs. Because I fairly doubt you are some kind of scientist, and probably not even in the meteorology. But just for fun:…l-warming-myth/…ew_Article.html…iew_OISM150.pdf

And you will never find scientific proofs that carbon is the cause of global warming, because there are none.

And yes I have ADD, and yes contextual links are annoying, they’re some sort of arrogant way to say to your interlocutor “look, you can’t possibly know the definition of this word”.

By saying “people with poor grammar and vocabulary are now the standard” you’re implying that they weren’t the standard in the past… and your implication would be wrong if you consider the staggering levels of illiteracy that were prevalent in previous decades, and more so, in previous centuries and millennia, which of course aren’t nearly as bad currently due to our recent (read: over the past 100 years) rise in public education. I had no problems reading what you wrote, you simply didn’t understand the implications of what you wrote.

I’m sorry, but the term you used was fairly obscure. Perhaps you should have provided a contextual link to a definition. Oh wait… you’d probably only find one on Urban Dictionary or some such site.

I’d have to laugh at the fact that you believe none of the Wikipedia editors could possibly be professionals… unless of course you misread what I said, and are assuming that I think ALL Wikipedia editors are professionals… because that would be fairly naive of me. I don’t presume any such thing. I do however, have a realistic view of the sheer mass of people editing the site, and I realize that realistically, a certain percentage of those people must have some sort of professional degree, and that a certain percentage must be experts in their field. After all, if you had a PHD in your field, and you noticed there was as much misinformation as you claim there is on the world’s most widely used online encyclopedia, would you not spend some time cleaning up the articles pertaining to your field… if only to stop the spread of disinformation?

You’re providing an example of the case of one moderator. With more than 800 active adminstrators, your example holds a weight of 0.0645%… that’s 1/16th of 1% :rolleyes: … then you go on to say that the vast majority don’t know anything about serious issues… so apparently, according to your “logic”, 0.0645% is representative of a vast majority. Granted, there may be a few highschool dropouts that have administrator positions, but to get there, they’d have to have submitted a fair bit of legitimately referenced material, and done a significant amount of work cleaning up Wikipedia in general. The process for promoting editors to administrators on Wikipedia is pretty stringent, quite possibly due to rare occurrences such as the one you mentioned.

No, I don’t take simple graphs and charts as proofs… however, I take the reputation of the most highly respected scientific organizations in the world to heart… mainly because they wouldn’t release hollow studies, or they would lose their esteemed reputations. Those organizations I linked to ARE the most respected scientific organizations in the known world. The links you have posted hold very little weight in comparison, especially when you consider that 3 of them were from the same petition site (nice idea, spacing them out like that, putting the other two in between… really makes them look like they’re different sites :) ) … and the other two are nothing more than news articles. Most of the links you provided were full of subjectivity, the ones I provided were as objective as they come. Might I also point out: Global warming IS a myth… mainly because we’re not dealing with a simple warming of the planet… we’re dealing with a complex change in climate that will have unpredictable, but serious results.

I’m a computer programmer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t inform myself about what the real experts in the scientific community have been up to. You might wish to inform yourself as well.

Are you hiding the fact that you’re a published doctor of meteorology or something? Because seriously, if you’re not a PHD, you’re seriously making your self out to be a hypocritical ass. Seriously. (See kaneel’s first post) … You attack Wikipedia because it’s not objective in your eyes, then you make an authoritative statement such as this? It makes me wonder why I’m even bothering to argue with you. Oh wait, right, it’s because you started in with the personal attacks.

Good thing I don’t use contextual links in that manner… I use them for reference purposes, when I feel that my statements will be more meaningful when backed up by useful, but not necessarily widely known information. It’s not arrogance, it’s simply me trying to be helpful to whoever is reading. Those people that link every word to a definition or website, are quite obviously abusing their link privileges.

This forum, or at least this thread, needs an arm-wrestling java applet.

Also, we should make up our own Renoispeak.

it works much better with that broken IPB link! :D