44 Comments

  1. There are etiquette guides for phone usage which say that formally proper English should not be used for texting as it makes the sender seem cold. Ending with a period is considered especially heinous.

  2. I don’t care about the linguistic non-standards employed by illiterate teenaged neanderthals(*), nor can I be bothered to learn their idiotic and ugly abbreviations.
    P.S. I just wish they would get off my lawn before they pull out their phones.

  3. Meine Rede, Kilby! And in my will I ordered that any life-extending measures be stopped the moment I send my first emoji.

  4. At the risk of losing my hard-earned geezer cred, I recommend the book, Because Internet, by Gretchen McCulloch (https://gretchenmcculloch.com/book/). She’s a linguist with a blog and a podcast about linquistics (duh). She looks at the history of the internet and the evolution of texting as the new lingua franca thereof. I still put periods at the end of the few texts I send.

  5. I always spell words out, capitalize, and use correct punctuation. They can have my semicolons when they tear them from my cold, dead hands.

  6. I would buy Arthur’s explanation except Janis’s thought indicates that she feels sorry for him, not that she thinks he’s being rude. To me, she thinks he wastes a lot of time being grammatically correct. And she might have a point.

    I have to admit that when texting first became a thing, I thought it was dumb and something I would never use. Why not call rather than type everything out? But now I think of it as a more non-urgent form of communication. I’m not forcing the recipient to drop everything they’re doing.

  7. What I didn’t understand about this one was why he was going to the hardware store with groceries (some perishable, no doubt) rather than doing it the other way around.

  8. Given that my volunteer work involves texting with digital natives in emotional crisis, it’s been relevant to my work to learn about the proper usage and nonusage of periods, and of the differences between “ok”, “k”, and “kk.” Because if you are communicating in a medium with a native user of the medium, and you are misunderstood, that means that YOU got it wrong, not them.

    If I say “Ok.” instead of “kk”, and the person gets offended, or they feel that they are unable to open up to me emotionally, that’s on me, not on them.

  9. Am I the only one who still uses ASCII smilies rather than emojis? I refuse to use emojis.

    And I had to look up “KK” as I’m still a noob at texting, and found this entry on the Urban Dictionary: “OK, cool. closest to gotcha or sure in conversation. very similar to roger in CB usage. ” I was shocked to see the casual reference to CB usage. Do the kids even know what CB is/was? 🙂

    And yeah, I text in complete words with punctuation.

  10. I use ASCII; no idea how to use emojis, and my email doesn’t ‘read’ ’em anyway. I don’t understand the diff between ok and kk, but it may be more subtle than I realize.

  11. There are regional variations in schoolyard slang that make it awkward when you change schools and they don’t understand “wicked pissah” or the difference between a wedgie and a yoger. I would expect that there are variations in texting such that “kk” means one thing in one group and something else, or nothing at all, in another group. Even though anyone can text anyone else, it’s not one big pool; it’s all quasi-isolated groups.

  12. Powers: I assume you actually know this, but just in case… “digital natives” is a term dreamed up by technophobic boomer journalists to excuse their total cluelessness about everything that’s happened with communications tech since the Bell System breakup.

  13. Old people have been making fun of younger people, and young people have been making fun of older people, for things the one group understands but the other one doesn’t, for approximately all of time. Speaking as a former fluent user of leetspeak from back in the 80’s, I don’t much care what teenagers today are saying to each other. If they wanted to include me in their conversation(s), they would.

  14. On ‘digital native’, Dave in Boston says: “digital natives” is a term dreamed up by technophobic boomer journalists to excuse their total cluelessness about everything that’s happened with communications tech since the Bell System breakup.

    Dave, I won’t dispute that that sort of negative-toned use may be what you have encountered. I have much more often seen and heard it used in a mostly positive way (I’ll say 80%) by those same older demographics. Among teachers and tech coordinators who work in computer education in elementary schools, it’s important they distinguish what the kids need to learn from what an adult computer novice would need. So the discussion is around “Remember, these kids are digital natives, so they know or will easily pick up how to manipulate the mouse, how to place windows on the screen, and the like, even if they have worked on other platforms.” [So don’t waste too much lab time teaching those things.]
    But the perhaps negative 20% remainder comes from the same starting place and says “But you can’t count on them already knowing how to work in an environment of shared physical and software resources.”

  15. Huh. My sister uses kk all the time – I read it as OK, and it works. I don’t know if she means anything different.
    I texted very rarely during the period when texting meant “push buttons lots to select letters off number keys”, so never got into the abbreviations. Now I not only have a full keyboard, I swipe my words – so using an abbreviation (that my keyboard doesn’t know) takes noticeably longer than “typing” it out. I text in full, grammatical sentences with punctuation…and my mom texts using the abbreviations (Where R U?). She doesn’t swipe, so it is marginally faster for her – but it drives me nuts, especially when she uses her own abbreviations (or possibly just ones I’m not familiar with…).

  16. jjmcgaffey, apparently kk does mean OK. But some people, in some circumstances, don’t think that OK means OK. For further confusion, look both up on Urban Dictionary.

  17. mitch4: pretty much all use of the term that I have encountered is negative, and specifically used for what people call “othering”. As in, they’re digital natives, they’re weird and a bit scary, we can’t understand them, etc. etc. But I have no direct contact with grade school computer education.

  18. I have only ever encountered the term “Digital Natives” in educational context, and never as negative. Dave, what subculture are you interacting with that thinks young=bad?

  19. The company I work for recently replaced their chat system. Both the new system and the system it replaced have the annoying habit of turning a nice plain ASCII smiley into a yellowball emoji (just like WordPress does 😉 ). However, the idiots who programmed the new system decided that normal emojis are not annoying enough, so they went and animated the infernal things, so that the eyes blink, and the smiles “grow”. What an unbelievable waste of time.

  20. “I texted very rarely during the period when texting meant “push buttons lots to select letters off number keys”, so never got into the abbreviations. ”

    Before texting was done with cell phones, it was done with instant messaging apps on the Internet, and before that, it was done on dial-up BBS systems. Both of which were done with a full keyboard, and most of the abbreviations you still find in use today.

    “I have no direct contact with grade school computer education.”

    I don’t either, but in the old millennium, I did endeavor to teach IT to adults, and sometimes, specifically, to adults who’d never really used a desktop computer before and found the entire process to be alien and/or foreign. And I had my own experience… in 1985 I was dropped into a class that used the college’s brand-new MacIntosh lab, with a bunch of students that had already taken the previous class in the sequence in the MacIntosh lab, and therefore had already been taught how to do things with the Mac’s GUI. I had taken the previous class the year before, when it was not taught in the Mac lab, then taken some time off to go to basic training and AF tech school. I had no idea how to do anything with the “intuitive” Mac OS, and didn’t get taught in the class I was in, either.

  21. My monthly issue of Book Page (reviews of new books) contains a review of the book, Kill Reply All, by Victoria Turk, which may interest those of you who are on online communities, who text, and who use Instagram, among other things.

  22. James: the critical part of all this is that it is no longer 1985.

    carlfink: evidently forgot to reply the other day; short answer is “the press”.

  23. Huh, that’s a first, it posted my comment with a notation that it’s awaiting moderation, instead of simply hiding it until rescued.

  24. Dave, maybe we’re not disagreeing. Or not much. I did understand that your point was the novel experience of seeing that notification , alongside a sort of memorandum of your held text. But what you had said was “it posted my comment with a notation …” and I didn’t get why you thought your comment had been posted — and, thinking you might be just mistaking the situation, I suggested a corrective. But now I see you weren’t making that mistake, you were just using the term “posted” differently than I would.

  25. Another possible explanation for the effect that Dave is experiencing is that he may have his browser in “private browsing” mode, so that it always looks like “someone else”.

  26. Well, it’s what happens to my posts when they don’t go through right away. Which happens not especially often but apparently at random, just like moderation.

  27. “Bill told me that when a post doesn’t show right away, it’s not because of moderation.”

    He might have said that it sometimes isn’t… but it sometimes is.

  28. “Bill told me that when a post doesn’t show right away, it’s not because of moderation.”

    What I find especially weird is when it shows up in the Recent Comments list, but, when I click on it, it’s not there, sometimes minutes later.

  29. Whether the moderation is justified or capricious, if a comment doesn’t show up right away it is, by definition, because of moderation.

    Well, unless the filter throws it directly into Trash, which is very rare, in which case it probably won’t ever show up (because the Trash folder is massive, the virtual equivalent of the Fresh Kills Landfill, and I don’t venture there unless I’m looking for something specific).

  30. I hate to disagree, but I specially asked about some cases. You told me that those posts had not gone to moderation. It’s just the case that I would post, no message would show up, either the one I posted or the usual one that tells you it’s in moderation. At some point, about five minutes or so later, the post would appear.

  31. I only text to husband and my sisters. Between Robert and me texts are immediate things being done – dinner ready (or just OK), got to garage (meaning I arrived on way to client, in afternoon meaning starting home), meet at registers, am in ladies room, etc. Between my sisters and me texts relate to some problem or solution to same related to mom.

    I have trouble with the lack of actual keys on the darn phone. Robert told me to just write and he will figure it out. In the early days of texting for us (long after most people started using – and mostly used because he has limited voice minutes) he texted “?” and I texted back what I thought was “at registers, electronics side” while in Costco. I don’t know what I actually wrote but I stood at the registers on the electronics dept end of them and watched him wander around the store looking for me.

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