I recognize that our language is a living, evolving thing. The advent of social media has made it abundantly clear how rapidly it is changing. I readily admit that I had to google some of the jargon coming from Bonnaroo tweets and that doesn’t bother me. Young people should have their own dialect.
The line I draw is the use of text speak when you are not texting. Text slang does not belong in schoolwork, professional correspondence or spoken conversations. As much as I expect my children (and teens) to be polite and honest, I also expect them to speak intelligently and not like illiterate hillbillies. Consequently, I have established a new household rule that anyone using text speak out loud will be required to use five alternative examples of how they should have expressed themselves.
I casually posted this rule on another social media site and the general reaction was… laughter. I’m a curmudgeon and fighting against the current for choosing this battle. I’m denying my teenagers a way to express themselves without cursing. Except, I just don’t believe those are anything other than excuses. I will have my children memorizing roots, prefixes and suffixes before I will allow them to eliminate words from their vocabulary. Our family will have a household new word a day before we will devolve to grunting out initials. Speaking in text speak isn’t a natural part of the growth of language. It is the death of language.