As an editor, I’m a stickler for correct grammar and spelling. Even with my text messages – I make it a point to make my sentences whole and readable on the cell as much as possible, to the point of being obsessive about it. Today punctation, capitalization, spelling and grammar all seem arbitrary and subjective, sort of like tech esperanto. It’s a spaghetti mess, peppered with emoticons for taste. I’ve long been concerned about how this trend of electronic shorthand will eventually ruin the linguistic future of our youth.

This morning at my office we got some e-fanmail for one of our magazines, and I quite literally got nauseous trying to read it. Texting in this manner is fine, I suppose; we only have 160-character chunks to deal with most of the time, and it makes some amount of sense to maximize your one-peso SMS fee and cram as much info in there as you can. But jeez, it’s a letter! I shudder to think that this is second nature to kids nowadays.

Here is an excerpt, verbatim, from the email sent by someone who goes by the handle killerkiddiekid. Give it a try:

twagn m nlng aqng KID. meron akong dlwng issue d2 ( 5-6 ). syng d q nbili ung dting issue. ngaun q lng kc npg alamn ang mag n 2 nung ng window shopping lng aq s mall. ngaun pinangako q s srili q n b2lhn q bwt issue ng mag n 2 kc lam nu interested tlga aq kpg online games ang topic . online games lng nga nl2ro q ei. ang nl2ro q plng s ngaun ay ranonlie,o2jam at minsan audition. d q lm monthly allownce q ei bsta 20 per day lng. s issue 6 ung s free calendar ng levelup ang pnkngs2hn q sna my free calendar p s s2nd . sna my POGS event nmn d2 s davao. p2nta tlga aq! . bsta about online games topic OK n un skn. s net cafe lng aq ngl2ro. may pc nmn kmi pro old model tska ala rng net. sna nmn mg p promo nmn kau ng free PC d lng 4 POGS event ( mhal pmasahe ppnta dun ). p2lgyn q tlga ng net kpg n2lo aq. kh8 s anung praan pra mksli nmn ung iba n malayo s event. mnsn d q tlga m cntrl ung srili q n mglaro ei. tngkl nmn s ng2s2s q s pgl2ro nq d q rn alam. ang ms2bi q ala pa aqng n sasave na pera dhl sa pgl2ro . pro ok lng NJOY nmn ei!

It goes on, but I thought I’d save you the agony. Our web guy at the office, Kiven, didn’t have trouble with it at all, but my personal sense of grammatic propriety is outraged and offended. I hope I’m just not overreacting, but I am greatly disturbed. This sort of thing has far-reaching and immersive destructive properties that affect everything and will resonate throughout the person’s life – even if it is just grammar and spelling. Man.

Or maybe it’s just me – an old fart who’s becoming more uncool with age. Sigh.

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