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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is There Text In This Email?

From: Misanthrope
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 10:03 AM
To: Pandora
Subject: What would you do if...

If I started emailing like this:

wher i txt evrythng to u in txt speak, would u h8 me

From: Pandora
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 10:55 AM
To: Misanthrope
Subject: What would you do if...

I think I would shun you, yes.

From: Misanthrope
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 12:43 PM
To: Pandora
Subject: What would you do if…

And deservedly so!

The reason I ask, is that I have a friend that types all their emails like that. And it’s driving me insane. I mean, I’m not even an English major (which is funny because, well… you are), and it drives me absolutely nutty. So, I can’t even imagine what it does to you… I mean, the difference is WAY worse for you!

From: Pandora
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 12:50 PM
To: Misanthrope
Subject: What would you do if…

Yeah... I’m not sure I could be a friend to someone that does that. I’m not joking. Of course, I’d be nice to the person (at least to their face) but I would mock them relentlessly. Truth be told, I even hate it in text messages but I let it slide because I know it stems from a need to save time and space, but in an email??? That’s an atrocity!!! That’s a sin!!! If Dante were alive he’d create a special level in Hell for the person that does that!

From: Misanthrope
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 1:42 PM
To: Pandora
Subject: What would you do if…

What do I do?!
Do I say anything?!
Do I condemn her to this new hell?!

From: Pandora
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 2:23 PM
To: Misanthrope
Subject: What would you do if…

Hahaha! Condemn her!

No, no… you’re not Pandora, so the condemning might not go over too well.

Hmmm… I’m trying to think of the best advice I could give you. If I were in your shoes I would first consider how old the person is.

If this individual is somewhere between the ages of 18 and 23 that explains a lot. The closer the individual is to 18 the closer they are to high school and adolescence. (I am convinced that most people don’t stop being “adolescent” until somewhere between 23 and 27 and they don’t become “adults” until sometime between 27 and 33) If she falls into the 18 to 23 age group, she hasn’t seen far beyond the “coolness” of her cell phone and she believes all “cool” people communicate this way no matter the medium. She has no clue that this is socially unacceptable, nor does it cross her mind that it could quite possibly annoy you.

When I taught at the University, a regular “lecture” was given within the first two weeks of class on the written word and how “UR” is not a grammatically correct form of “your” or “you’re.” I had to fail papers because students believed “texting” in Times New Roman 12 font, as long as it was double spaced and stayed within the margins, was acceptable for a college paper. I don’t know why this happens, exactly, other than the state of Arizona has a terrible education system and they teach the kids nothing, but it happens and people should be educated in the proper form of written communication. I’m not saying they need to become Pandora, but I am saying they can at least learn to write in a complete sentence with the entire word written out.

So… if she falls into this category, I would most likely say something to encourage her in the right direction, particularly if she were someone I saw as a good friend, or soon to be good friend, and I wanted to spend time with her and not constantly think about what an idiot she is when it comes to talking with me via email. I would say something like, “Do you always write as though you’re using a cell phone?” That should be enough to prod someone into a self-aware state (especially if they want you to think highly of them) that (unless they ride the short bus, which, given the subject matter, is quite possible, but we’ll touch on that in a moment) may cause them to commence writing in complete sentences because a) they want to prove to you that they can and b) they may have picked up on the annoyed “tone” in your question.

Now, if this person is 23+ you may have a annual pass short-bus rider on your hands. If this is the case then you need to assess the value of the friendship and how much you can tolerate.

If this is someone valuable to you, then you will need to approach the matter as though you’re trying to help them move forward in the realms of social grace. For instance, take this person to lunch and say, “I like you. I think you have potential. But whenever I receive an email from you, I often wonder how many people you frustrate because your messages read as though they were sent using the your cell phone keypad as opposed to the keyboard we all know was readily available at your fingertips. You don’t send emails like that to your boss, do you? If so, you may want to consider the ramifications of your actions here. The boss will never think you’re worthy of promotion or raise in pay because he/she may very well think you’re illiterate and require more education. Now, you’re not illiterate, are you? Of course not! We both know that isn’t true. You are an intelligent individual! I’m just saying you should make a conscious effort to write in complete sentences. In fact, you can use me as practice. I’d be more than happy to help you along with this.” (insert big smile here)

Now, if this is someone you figure will be around no matter what you say, if they have a thick skin, if their feelings will suffer not, or if you could care less whether their feelings suffer or not, simply say the following:

Um… you do know this isn’t a cell phone and you’re not texting me right now, right? You do know this is an email and it’s acceptable, perhaps even impressive, to write in complete sentences and use actual words while doing so, right? And… you do know that h8 is actually spelled h-a-t-e, don’t you? I hope so, because if you don’t know that then I’m not sure you’ll understand me when I say, I hate that you’re writing to me in text speak. I HATE IT!

That’s the best advice I can give you.

From: Misanthrope
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 3:22 PM
To: Pandora
Subject: What would you do if…


I think I’ll condemn her! I don’t care about her that much. She’s 21. Let me just give you a couple snippets:

“…says u are but i didnt believe it!”
“…u werent…”
“What about u?”
“…at ur email!”

So, it’s not entirely text speak, but it’s still miserable. Why aren’t these children being beaten enough? Where were their parents?! Argh!

Could I just nip the whole thing right in the butt and say, “talk like a fcking adult, you fcking douche bag!”?

From: Pandora
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 3:47 PM
To: Misanthrope
Subject: What would you do if…


Well, at least I once again impressed myself with the wisdom I’ve gleaned from experience: “She’s 21.” (Not to mention I was hoping that was the case and not someone my age or older)

You could put an end to it all by saying a few choice words and concluding with douche bag. Or you would send her a reply that looks like this:
Please make the following corrections and then send me your email.

“…says u are but i didnt believe it!” …says you are, but I didn’t believe it!
“…u werent…” …you weren’t…
“What about u?” What about you?
“…at ur email!” …at your email!

Please keep in mind that “you” is the pronoun and “u” is a letter. Also keep in mind that “your” is a possessive pronoun and “ur” is not a word. Also keep in mind that words such as “didn’t” and “weren’t” are contractions for “were not” and “did not” and an apostrophe is always used in place of the “o” in “not.” (Which reminds me, for future reference, don’t confuse “your” with “you’re” because “you’re” is a contraction for “you are.”) Oh yes, and please remember that “I” when used as a subject in a sentence is a proper pronoun and must always be capitalized.

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reference the following sites:
Grammar Rules


Possessive Pronouns


From: Misanthrope
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 3:55 PM
To: Pandora
Subject: What would you do if...

Ah, yes, you are wise.

"...something something douchebag!"

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