Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Remember When A Word Made Sense?

Wh3n d1d w3 st4rt putt1n6 numb3r5 1n w0rd5??

I noticed this week that two of the top 20 shows on television right now are Unan1mous and Numb3rs. The former is a contest based on greed brought to you by the FOX network, and the latter is a CBS series about an FBI agent who uses his brothers mathematical genius to help solve caseloads - an kind of hip Rain Man.

I just hate this bastardization of the english language. It was bad enough when online chat rooms coerced people to phonetically misspell and abbreviate words in order to type faster. "Cool" became "kewl", "your" became "ur", "are" became "r", "too" and "to" became "2". I don't LOL or ROFL or even LMAO. It is completely possible to write a entire sentence and it not make grammatical sense - looking more like a math equation than a sentence.

What is this all about? What, now words aren't cool enough anymore - we gotta punch them up somehow? Are people going to start naming their kids "R1v3r" or "1-nita"? I would say that this is a pattern of laziness except it actually takes some brainpower in order to write and decipher this drivel.

Being the wordsmith that I am, and a lover of words at that, I find these trends a bit insulting. They're not cool, they're not interesting. It's trying to make something out of nothing. It does not "up" your hip-quotient. Perhaps it's acceptable for your online screen name in order to conserve space, but that's about it. Literacy and intelligence are sexy.

Aiiight?