Friday, December 14, 2007

No More Text Speak

Ok, so I'm old. Well, not super old, but I'm not a teenager anymore. I don't text message. I don't plan to text message. I don't want to get an email written in that cheesy text-speak language that teenagers think is their super-secret decoder ring language. And, I certainly don't want to read that stuff in forums or in blogs.

Only slightly less repellent is the trend toward extreme-conversational style full of slang. In other words, a style that screams "I'm an old person desperately seeking a younger audience- please like me!!" The problem with it is that it won't last, and if the website does, it's soon outdated.

Conversational writing is just a part of most web writing, and because the audience is likely to be all ages, it makes sense. But too many writing sites warn against formal writing- even in your own blog. If you're blogging about something serious, shouldn't the writing be formal? And isn't your blog your own space to write however you like? Silly me, I thought it was. And, these sites don't always take their own advice anyway.

If the subject matter and potential audience calls for formality- write formally. If it calls for a more conversational style- write conversationally. The truth is that there really aren't any rules etched in stone on any mountainside. This is true especially for blogs- until now, that is. I'm going to go ahead and etch a rule about text speak in stone today. If you're text messaging your friends about the homecoming dance and don't want old Mr. Witherspoon to catch you, have fun with cryptic speech. But if you've already turned 18, it's just never appropriate.

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