In french_teacher‘s journal, we’ve been discussing a message a young person posted somewhere, which like many online messages lacked punctuation and capitalization. Such posting styles get used a lot in IM and on cell phones, and have leaked over to journals and email as well, and it seems that many many times I’ve heard adults I know be just horrified by what they take as a sign of poor education.
But every generation has found conversational styles that annoy the ones before. I don’t even see this as a sign of poor education. If one looks at the content of many IM and online posts that use the no-punctuation-no-capitalization style, they’re actually quite clear–if we can all stop thumping our canes long enough to read them.
Of course there are unintelligible posts made in this style, too. There are unintelligible posts made in every style.
But my instinct is to try to understand the conventions being used. There are contexts when they’re not appropriate (the above-mentioned discussion is arguably one of them, since the poster was addressing an audience of adults accustomed to a different style–but that seems an honest misjudgment).
And I feel like if I waste time thumping my cane over this, I lose time that I could be spending actually connecting and understanding another person who may otherwise be being quite intelligible and interesting, even if he or she writes in a different dialect than I do.
Maybe that’s the way to think of it, even–as another dialect, one that follows it’s own rules but is not inherently unclear.
Or to put it another way,
in a formal ltr or at an interview or 4 a class i still expect rules be followed but every generation has found styles that annoy the ones before i dont see this as a sign of poor education
if u look at im and online msgs that use no punctuation and no capitalization they r clear if u stop thumping ur cane to read them
of course there r unintelligible posts in this style there r unintelligible posts in every style
but my instinct is to understand the conventions even if there r contexts where they r not appropriate
if i waste time thumping cane i lose time connecting and understanding another person who may be intelligible and interesting even if they write in a different dialect than me
maybe thats the way to think of it as another dialect that follows its own rules but is not inherently unclear