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On 20 Sep 2002, at 13:14, holmegm -at- attbi -dot- com wrote:
> Maybe. I see this bandied about as inevitable, but I
> I mean, drastically abbreviating words would have had the
> same supposed benefits in the past, whether using
> typewriters, pen/paper, or papyrus. It would have been
> faster and cheaper, for those used to it. Yet it didn't
> happen, not in the wholesale way ircspeak is supposed to
> r001 us all soon. So my crystal ball is still cloudy on
> this point ... ;)
> Greg Holmes
Like you, I'm not too worried about trendy shortcuts in written or
spoken language dumbing down standard English. IMO that's the tail
wagging the dog.
Slang terms come and go. It seems teenagers of every generation
have their novel patois. Be it ever so groovy, it's only the bee's knees
for a few years, then it fades away before the onslaught of the next
gnarly wave. You dig me, man? <g>
Meanwhile the vast population of speakers of standard English gives
that standard enormous resistance to change, at least on the scale of
As for shortcuts in written language, they never seem to get far. I
recall a marvellous little story about George Bernard Shaw's
recommendations along those lines. It's called "Meihem in Ce Klasrum".
Read it if you can find it. You will chuckle.
I expect "ircspeak" to persist -- but only on the IRC channels. Modes
of communication develop to suit their uses, and -- granting leeway for
variations in facility with spelling and grammar -- standard English works
just fine in daily casual or professional discourse.
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