Having a chat with a coworker today about the differences between American vocabulary and English vocabulary, when we gradually got on the topic of the shrinking vocabulary. With social media and texting, emailing, etc, we feel like we tend to stick to the same words most of the time. When we’re only allowed 160 characters, it’s difficult to eloquently express yourself. Does that carry over into spoken conversation?
Personally, I have always been one to instant message, text, and email with full words (as opposed to abbr.) and punctuation. I don’t care how long the text is (my friends call them “novels”), I’ll be goddamned if I don’t use the correct spelling/grammar/punctuation. That being said, I’m not a grammar expert. More of a nerd.
Anyway, we’re a society of shortcuts and it’s apparent in social media/texting. Think about how easy it is to text and type (for most). Back in the day, people had to put a quill in ink and then to paper, about every couple words, and they’d write pages to send by post. If Jane Austen is any indication, people took time and effort to express themselves. Mr Darcy wouldn’t have written to Elizabeth, “hey, gurl, I ❤ u, ttyl.”
Then again, that was how they had to communicate – by letter, which took a long time to be delivered, so it better be worthwhile.
I guess our laziness comes with accessibility.