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.