Elite Speak

I do believe Rich is onto something with his article on “elite speak”.

One undesirable side effect of technology’s march has been the proliferation of abysmal spelling and grammar. We all spend a lot of time at a keyboard dealing with email, instant messages, and other forms of the written word. So it’s tempting to nix things like capital letters, punctuation, or coherent sentance structure to save time. Unfortunate, but understandable.

What I don’t get are things like “elite speak”. It’s not humorous or creative. It conveys no sense of intelligence, education, or wit. For lack of a better word, it’s pointless to a fault.

Thankfully, most people’s dalliances toward elite speak are nothing more than laziness. My own pet peeve is “e.e. cummings disease”–all lowercase letters. It’s surely a sign of advancing age that I’m really starting to respect those who craft the English language, not so much for their talent but simply for making the effort.

Perhaps that’s what it’s all about–the effort.

How ironic that the easier it gets to edit what we write, the less we actually do so. Think about it. It has never been simpler to correct a typo or revisit a poorly phrased sentance. No correction fluid, stuck keys, or worn out ribbon. No need to retype an entire page just to insert a paragraph. Computers will check our spelling, examine our grammar and even format a page automatically. Yet more and more we just let it slide.

“Elite speak” and its ilk only strengthen my resolve to avoid reinforcing the lowest common denominator when I write.

  9 comments for “Elite Speak

  1. Ron
    December 29, 2003 at 11:29 am

    I had to leave *something* for the eagle-eyed readers to pick up on. 🙂 The internet is great because nothing is ever permanent (that’s also its greatest shortcoming, but I’ll leave that for another time). At least, not permanent in the “it’s gone to press” sense.

  2. "aunt" betty
    January 7, 2004 at 7:21 am

    well, you found me out! i don’t capitalize. i hope that it doesn’t drive you to distraction. unfortunately, i never learned to type. forgive my errors and know that i shall try to do better in the future. no promises though.

    April 15, 2004 at 6:12 pm

    How funny you talk about “laziness” and effort yet you spell words wrong throughout your whining.

  4. Ron
    April 15, 2004 at 11:41 pm

    Perhaps there’s a difference between an occasional typo and intentionally neglecting to use any semblance of proper English.

  5. Lesley
    December 29, 2003 at 8:20 am

    Did you mean “examine”? 🙂

    Sorry…it’s the editor in me. And the decline of correct spelling and grammar is driving me to distraction.

  6. h@+ +r!ck & v!ru5
    February 5, 2004 at 8:11 am

    H@ck!n9 Wh!CH C@n @Nd !5 !1139a11 !5 0ur w@y 0f 5h0w!n9 +o +h3 R35+ 0f +h3 w0r1d +0 n0+ +h!nk 0f u5 @s 8@d 0r 3v!l 83c@u53 0f 0ur +@13n+5

  7. Jen
    November 24, 2004 at 11:02 pm

    it’s funny that you’re all fighting over something so pointless. HAHA

  8. jon
    December 3, 2004 at 10:39 am

    Elite speak does have a point though. it is to disguise text so that search engines and other automatic text parsers don’t pickup on the actual content of a page or conversation.


  9. seth
    February 19, 2005 at 7:29 pm

    u cant say 3|_1T3 talk is lazy, it takes alot more time to find substitutes for letters than just writing them down.

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