It seems that almost daily I am encountering a new and troubling aberration to my treasured English language. Yesterday I discovered that we are liberally using the word “bots” to replace the word “robots.” The first question is why? Is it to save keystrokes or spaces? Is it simply for the sake of brevity?
We’ve done essentially the same atrocity by converting “your” to “ur,” “pictures” to “pics,” and all of the unfortunate acronyms that pervade our text messages such as “lmao,” “lol” “tbt” and probably others that I haven’t yet encountered.
Yes, I understand that there are limits to time and characters for many types of messages. Thankfully, the expression, “My bad” has become less popular as it made me cringe every time I heard it. At the same time, I am watching the language that I love being compromised in an assortment of ways.
It goes on from abbreviations and acronyms. Somehow, the expression “of course” has replaced thank you and you’re welcome. As someone who lavishly uses “thank you” in many contexts, I am old enough and traditional to expect a “you’re welcome” instead of “of course.” In my life, that expression was often found in conjunction with sarcasm: “Of course, you’re not ready to finish math and begin English, right?”
There’s little purpose in fighting a war that I can’t possibly win. It’s probably similar to preventing glaciers from collapsing into the sea (yes, global warming) or oceans being devastated by thousands of tons of plastic waste material. But for as long as I can and will set examples, I will say you’re welcome to a thank you.
Before you file me away into the antique category, understanding and perpetuating our language in its purest form does have value. Those who read our work, in business and academics, are paying attention to the faithful adherence to standard English practices. Thankfully, I don’t see that changing. And entrance exams, job applications and legal documents are all predicated on reasonably correct language and grammar.
Do what you like with your language for I am responsible only for my words. But don’t be surprised if I’m not the only one paying attention and you are really going to know that “your” means belonging to you and “you’re” means you are. Shalom.