What happened to proper English?

In this electronic age, convenience is king. Perhaps that is why there is a sudden proliferation of internet shorthand. Nothing is more annoying to me than reading a post or message full of “u” “2” and the like. What is so difficult about writing out the words “you” and “too”? Worse, people seem to feel this is perfectly acceptable.

Call me a snob but, I do judge people upon their written word. When I see someone write a sentence like this: Who r u? I tend to think of them as uneducated and ignorant. Regardless of what you are writing online, it is an extension of yourself. Do you really want people to think of you as stupid?

As the editor of an online zine I am dismayed by the amount of submissions I receive that are badly written from a grammatical and spelling standpoint. Is it so difficult to remember English lessons? In this time of instant gratification, have so many forgotten how to spell?

One of the appeals of online writing is the ease of accessing information. The reader wants to be able to read the information before them quickly and efficiently. Reading a message full of “u”, “2” and “r” is actually very difficult to read and leaves the educated reader feeling frustrated. Adults do not read as children read, one word at a time, rather they tend to gulp down multiple words at once. Internet shorthand disrupts the quick flow of words and may send your reader elsewhere, rather than encouraging them to read further.

The moral of this story, children, is to take those few extra keystrokes and turn “u” into “you” or “r” into “are” and use proper capitalization. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised when people actually respond to what you are saying instead of dismissing your opinions as ignorant. Better, they will stop dismissing you, the author, for not caring enough about your opinions to make them clear and intelligent (sounding).

Categorized as darkness

By DarkJ



  1. In the world of words, the only thing respected is intelligence. The only arsenal we have is our vocabulary. Brilliance is buoyant, all that shit in your head is weighing you down. Let go of it, and you too can float to the top of this site or any other, like me and a certain devil cat. 😉

  2. ~J,

    Hail and well met!

    This is one of my pet peeves, too.
    As a working DJ, I frequent a site devoted to, well, DJ stuff. You would not believe the goings on over there, in a business where verbal communiction is an integral part of what we do.

    Some of you others can help me out here, but I was told that the new language, (called *www* by many) is a carry-over from the days of usenets and IRC’s, where the transmission of data was “iffy” and expensive.

    I don’t know if this is true or not.

    But, as often as I can, I rail about it. The response seems to be a 50-50 split of *AMEN/HALLELEUJAH!*

    I think some of the split is, indeed, generational.
    The youth of today, (those under 30) have been typing away at these things since they could reach a keyboard, so I think they’ve gotten complacent.
    (been in line at a supermarket lately? Get the right change in one try? Don’t get me on THAT tangent…)

    Another angle on this subject is capitalization and punctuation. While I am NOT anyone’s 5th grade English teacher, The stuff that REALLY BURNS ME UP IS THE KID WHO TYPES EVERYTHING LIKE THIS OR JUST AS BADLY like this when the keyboard with all the punctuation marks was only a dollar more so why didnt they but that one who knows or even the WoRsT: ThIs! WhAt The HeLl iS ThIS aLl abOuT? SeEMs tO mE To Be wAy ToO mUch Work.

    I don’t mind, in fact I do use, *emoticons*
    But too see a veritable work of art in carats, hyphens, and assorted brackets around someone’s name who DIDN’T USE A SINGLE COMMA in the body of their message REALLY slays me.


    The Heathen DJ
    Not perfect, but not too lazy to turn on a spellchecker.

  3. I wouldn’t call you a snob DarkJ, simply someone who cares. Unfortunately not enough seem to.

  4. Hello.
    I myself can write in standard English, If I wish to.
    However people shouldn’t assume someone is stupid because they write in “Internet Slang”. It is often used for speed, which makes it an intelligent practice.

  5. I thouroughly agree with you. Today’s American is atrocious, and I to find it frustrating trying to read something and I have to decipher unintelligible typings, I can forgive poor spelling, it is often times not intentional, or a misstroke, but deliberate slaughtering of the written word is unexcusable. I guess it just goes to show that there are more people out there who have little regard or respect for a language that has taken many years and many different languages to create. It’s no wonder that foreigners laugh at how we don’t have a mastery of our language, when so few people have the pride or ability that other nations educate their children in.

  6. Per my observation, it’s not just internet slang – it’s also hip-hop slang. I think what we are seeing is a deliberate assault by a few on standard English, because standard English is, well, standard. Thus, determined by the privileged. The few trendsetters are being aped by a vast mob of illiterates who are overjoyed at the prospect of one less thing that they have to fail to learn.


  7. There is such a thing as TOO insightful, my pet….


    I KILL me!
    Thine and you KNOW it….

  8. The *speed* you gain in typing we lose in reading.
    So we don’t read it.
    WHAT did you GAIN?
    You saved 43.679 seconds of your lifetime, to preserve your thoughts to humanity….but NOBODY read them, because you saved some time, and sounded stupid…..NOT WERE stupid, BUT SOUNDED stupid, so your GRAND IDEA went UNREAD….Sorry…it’s NOT MY LOSS….because YOU were LAZY….your ideas are now VAPOR in the world of CYBERSPACE…..Pity, really….it may have been profound!

    Hey…THAT was CATTY!!!

  9. Certainly your scattered capitalization and proliferation of periods makes your point crystal clear. They teach you that in English 101?

  10. I agree! I can’t stand people who always use “r” and “u”. It makes me think they’re lazy. I must admit, though, that when I am typing for a long time, I sometimes forget capitalization. Well, we all have our faults. In any case, we should all still type correctly!

  11. Bravo! I agree with you totally. The single most annoying thing in the cyber-world to me is checking my e-mail and seeing “HOW R U?” in the subject line. I have come to the point where I delete messages like this without even reading them. I thank you for this post, maybe someone will read it and start to think while they type.

    Yours Always in Darkness,

  12. Amen! Preach on my brother! I agree with you totally. However, I would like to add that at least a minimum of punctuation and capitalization is also a good thing to have. I have skipped many a post simply because it was one run-on sentence with no capital letters or periods. A large portion of the Internet is based on language, yet it is used by people who apparently don’t know the language well enough to utilize it…what a grand irony.

  13. I have never actually realised how annoying it is to see things like "W@ U ^2"i got sent this in a text and was rather frustrated as to what the arrow ment it turns out some body had not taken the time to write a simple two letters UP!
    I understand you point of view but i think it is done to keep typin and texting time to a bare minimum although it would be better to write is so that i could understand what was written:)

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