Here is the ‘O’ Calorie K-challenge and other musings in a last ditch attempt to “Save O” ! Well Zer-iouz Issuez mean Serious Issues.
I rarely chat on any of the chatting facilities available on www. I especially avoid the younger lot for the single reason that I don’t understand what they send in the form of what they call text messages. I believe I have developed “Chatophobia” or fear of online-chatting.
A young friend of my daughter keeps sending messages to me on Facebook. His messages are like, “Hai unkl, hoes sam ? hmmmhmmmhm bz wid xms. wots she doin ?” I replied, “Sam’s my daughter. I couldn’t understand rest of your message”. Pat came the reply, “kkkkkkk”. I was taken aback and asked him, “Do you suffer from stammering on the chat ? I mean, like SRK did in the movie ‘Darr’ when he said… I love you Kkkkkkkkiran…” He sent a horrible looking smiley which I had not met before (Now the people at The Dehradun Post tell me, they may be from Krrish 3 Facebook Smiley Collection). I thought it better not to continue the chat any further in the larger interest of the English language !
In the early days of the evolution of text messages or SMS as some people call it, I believe someone typed in OK for a message. But since he didn’t press the O properly, only the K reached the recipient. The recipient must have thought, “Wow, this is cool. Anyway, O means 0 or Zero and that has no value. So this is new and cool style of sending OK. And thus the ‘K’ was born.
If these kids sincerely believe ‘O’ has no value and begin dropping it from every place, we are in for more trouble I’m afraid. Soon they’ll be drinking ‘range juice and avoid all kind of ‘ils in diet. ‘ver and above, they will find ‘ut more ‘riginal ways to ‘mit ‘o’ and the ‘utcome already sounds ‘wsome. OMG, already an abbreviation will further abbreviated in to ‘MG. ‘n the mark my friends, we are heading twards a wrld withut ‘O’. I believe it’s time to begin a campaign to save ‘O’ along with tigers.
I fail to understand if it is laziness or coolness. Because some of the kids message as I mentioned earlier kkkkkkkk. Now, they don’t like to type that one O but don’t mind about 7 – 8 Ks. May be Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor have made ‘K’ the most favorite alphabet of the youth. Or perhaps the famous brand of breakfast cereal has forced the ‘O’ Calorie ‘K-Challenge’ on the youth and thus the English language is shrinking quite like the waist lines of the model in the ad.
With the shrinking process of English language going on unabated, I am seriously worried about the Queen’s English. Forget Queen’s English, even my own modest South-Indian English is seriously threatened. I am quite worried these days about saying ‘Hi’ to anyone online. I am immediately corrected with “Hai”. The ‘a’ between ‘h’ and ‘i’ makes it sound right because most people laugh online like Hihihi or Hehehe or Hahaha. So they don’t want anyone to mistake the ‘Hi’ to be a short and cunning laugh. Good intentions !
Capital punishment to Capital letters is another vexing issue I have come across. Nobody likes Capital letters anymore. “hai ramz, i met john n priya n d prgm s fxd. u juz cum 2 pizza hut @ 8. by” This is how messages fly thin and fast these days. Yes, thin and fast because the messages can’t be called thick by any stretch of imagination. And progressive disregard for the full-stop and comma and such impediments means the sentences are sentenced to hang till death.
To my horror, it is not only the young and happening people who are following this trend. A Gynecologist friend of mine has this to say, “It is like short-hand. We can write down all through this language during seminars without missing anything and it’s not difficult to understand later”. Now this has put me in serious doubts. Am I a fossil, a dinosaur and an antic from the Victorian era all rolled into one ?
So the evolution has turned just into juz and today into 2day. Because is coz and tough is tuff. The abbreviations too are interesting. Laugh out loudly is LOL and Rolling on the floor, laughing is ROFL. Words ending with ‘s’ are getting supplanted with ‘z’ and thus we have wordz, gurlz, boyz, gunz, ballz and in the worst case scenario, a Prinz !
Amidst all this madness, I have a few things to rejoice though. Most important thing is I am not a teacher in schools. Just imagine answer sheets that go like this. “nwtans lws f mtn r 3 phscl lws dat 2gedr laid d fondtn 4 clsicl mechncs. nwtans 3d lw sayz actn n rectn r eql n opsit”. Or like this, “akbr wa a mogal empror also knwn as akbr d gr8. he ws d 3d n gr8st rlr f d mogal dnsty. hs fader ws humynn akbr fonded a nw religen clld ‘dinelai’…”. I shudder to think of the plight of teachers the day they’ll have to deal with answer sheets like this !
After pondering over why more and more people are Shrinking the English to make it “Shringlish”, I have come up with some genuine possibilities. And here are the possible reasons.
1. People are hiding behind this language to make up for their pathetic spelling and grammar.
* It is true. I can vouch for that.
2. People have a misconception, it is cool. It is often copied from others to appear trendy.
* It is not cool. It is just nonsense.
3. People think it saves hell of a lot of time for both the writer and also the ones who read.
* Contrary to it, it shaves precious time in deciphering !
4. It is the way forward and that is how we are going to be, like it or not attitude of youth.
* Try that in exams or in your job application letters. The attitude will reach lower altitude.
5. What is there is a language ? Is it not enough if we communicate and others understand ?
* Next time when you order your favorite dish, try it without 3 – 4 main ingredients and decide.
I run the serious risk of being branded old and uncool. Yet I assert, I find this whole business of shrinking of the language stupid, idiotic and extremely uncool. It would be of great help if the people who are in awe of this language realize a truth. I don’t know German and Spanish. If people speak to me in these languages, I wouldn’t be able to understand or respond. Similarly, I and millions of people like me don’t understand your shrunken language and hence will not be able to respond. Hence before you unleash your language on unsuspecting victims, please try to find out if they understand your language.
Otherwise, it soon will be RIP Communication !
[Editor’s Desk: Once I was talking chatting with a Girl. She wanted to write for DehradunPost.com . But every time I sent her 20 full words with grammar and punctuation intact, she replied with a K, 🙂 and Wats Dat. When I tried to compel her to be elaborate, she went offline and never surfaced on my Chat Window again. I too never looked for her again. Regarding RIP usage, to an ignorant, it appears ripping the dead apart. Only question being: Why will anyone want to do that?]