INCESSANT ABBREVIATION OF WORDS

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii  🙂

This is my very first post on this blog. I wish you could see me right now 🙂 I’m so dancing lol…

Ok… This has been on my mind for sometime now and I can’t hold it anymore  and decided to write and share this issue which I tag as a mental epidemic disease.

Incessant abbreviation of words!

Pondering on the above topic, I’ve looked into this issue perplexedly and decided to write my opinion and share. It’s a very abridged ‘opinion’ because there’s only so much I can say here.
I would really love to hear your constructive opinions and positive response to this topic as well.

So, starting with the ‘w’ questions and then the rest, lets tackle this cancerous issue.

1. why do people abbreviate words incessantly?
2. What effect does it have in our lives?
3. Who are the victims of this problem likely to be?
4. Where is it mostly practised?
5. When is it necessary to abbreviate words?
6. Is it bad?
7. what is/are the remedy(ies)?
1. why do people abbreviate incessantly?

>I think, the major reason people abbreviate is to save time.

>Also, in SMSs, to squeeze a message into fewer pages to save costs.

>To give effect to write Ups

>There is even the probability that they don’t know how to spell. Yes!

>It is becoming a norm or better still, it has become a norm.
The cyber world (which I also call the ‘virtual’ world) is as time consuming as the real world and in the process of trying to juggle both, you may find yourself wanting to update your status every now and then as quickly as you can
Hence the incessant abbreviation of words.
Take for instance:
I see actor Majid Michel and the next thing I do is…

>enter facebook
> type “Ow ma gosh, jst sw Majid. Hs sooooo kute. Lawd hv mrci”

And then the comments and likes start pouring in…

>Rily? Wer?
>Majid oooo am stil singl n sechin
>Omg hs hawt! Tripin

Something like that…

Me, I don’t know when my breakthrough really came because I was a victim of incessant abbreviation for a period of time o but I was a learner compared to what I see everyday on my virtual pages!
And this takes us to the second question.

2. What effect does it have in our lives?

In my opinion, it is highly inconvenient and a BRAIN DRAIN reading all these short hands!
My brain spends extra seconds trying to decipher what the writer is implying.

And here comes the bomb – It takes just about the same time to type the actual words!
Especially with the continuous upgrade of phones and the autocorrect built-in features.
3. Who are the victims of this problem likely to be?

Hmmm… Ok. Young people and students pile up to a higher percentile rank. But some ‘old people’ do this too. I have seen personally!

But mostly youths. As soon as they can afford an internet enabled phone, even when they attend the best private schools, just flow with the tide to feel among.

I know a young man whose name is Victor Nelson but on one of his social media accounts, his name is boldly written as ‘Vic Nelz’
Sad.

Now, our concern is not just an empty one o. Some teachers are now complaining that students write these abbreviated forms in test papers and exam sheets.
Please teachers and lecturers in the house, true or false?

As for the older ones I’ve encountered doing this, is mostly via SMSs. And you’ll agree with me that the reason is an economic one.
They have mouths to feed plus one or two more gadget-babies  #smiles
It’s not easy. They are pardoned. Yes I have that authority 🙂

4. Where is it mostly practised?

I guess you need not be told this answer.

SOCIAL MEDIA

That is the only outlet through which most young people seem to have full control and privacy without parental control or teacher supervision.

They post what’s on their mind at will, copy what they like and catch up with the latest trend
This in turn affects their fashion sense, vocabulary, hobbies and the list goes on.

It’s hard for them to tell you how and when they picked up the habit of writing abbreviated words incessantly.
Somehow, they just unconsciously imbibe what they see as trendy.

Lets have a peek at some of these ‘shorthanded’ words

Hbd – Happy birthday, I’m – am, People – ppl, things- tnz, thanks – tnxs or fenks, thought- tot, please – pls, forget – 4get, road – rd, market – mkt, every – evry, what – wot, between – btw, who – hu, but – buh, come – cum, just – jux, great – gr8, little – lil, what’s up – sup (I’m guilty of the last two 🙂 … The list goes on and on

5. When is it necessary to abbreviate words?

Frankly, there are no clear cut rules on the use of abbreviated words in writing. And so anytime one deems fit to make use of abbreviations, fine!
And if it was not abused, it wouldn’t be a problem at all.
But when this virus is eating deep into our young ones and eating up their intellectual capabilities, then we have a problem.

The advent of social media in Nigeria ushered in the good, the bad and the confused. Yes, I try not to believe in ugly even though I know it exists. But the ‘confused’ here refer to those swayed to and fro by the wind of opinionated social media blusterers.

6. Is it bad?

This can be argued out.
For me it’s a yes and no.
For social media, you can agree with me that ain’t no way we can flush this out!. We just gotta not overdo it 🙂

But outside it, ah! Just try not to at all. It’s a no no  applying short hand in the classroom!
When abbreviated words are used too often, over time it becomes a habit. And habits are difficult to stop.

7. What is/are the remedy(ies)?

Make a conscious decision to stop aborting vowels out from their words!
Realize that the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) of all the alphabets are the victims of incessant abbreviation (poor them)
Just as you can’t pronounce any word without the presence of vowel(s), try to not cut them off in your writing.

It takes just about the same time to type or write actual words so why abbreviate?

I believe there are no short cuts in life. So why create one in writing?
Short cuts have never done any one any good.
At Spar, the other day, we got into a Swatch shop and my friend was telling me how getting an original watch of  N22,000 (he was wearing) was better than the N400 watches he used to wear as a student. ‘They never lasted more than a few months’ he lamented.

Same goes for ‘short hand’
The consequences, I perceive are long term ones.
It’s a brain drain!
Before long you try to spell a word and you start looking for a dictionary because you can’t place the exact spelling without mixing them up.

Could have said more but will draw the curtain here… Let’s talk please 🙂
I really want to hear your opinion

© Priscilla Esuku
27/06/15

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