Did "u" really just type that?!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This post is out of the norm for me but I had to post it. This is spurred by my own daughter typing “u” and “2” rather than “you” and “too.” Now, this post isn’t meant to call her out or embarrass her but as a mother I feel it is my job to do what is best for her. Good habits and knowing how to spell are skills that I want her to excel at. Yes, I have threatened to deactivate her facebook if she cannot spell common words correctly. I surely do not want anyone to think I’m raising a child that cannot spell a simple word such as “you.”

Now, grammar is not my strong suit. In fact, if my life depended on knowing that this blog post is grammatically correct—I would skip on posting it. However, this is beyond the issue of grammar. This is common and basic knowledge; at least I hope it is. A person may say that it is easier to type this way or that they do know better but do it anyway. It is a poor excuse, in my opinion. I have seen people shorten “people” to “ppl” and “thanks” to “thx” or “probably” to “prolly.” The truth is, when you dumb yourself down to typing this way it is building up a repetitive action that enforces such mispellings, making it easier each and every time that you do it.

Now, I know there are cases in gaming where an acronym may be better suited than typing out a long word, such as saying “wts” rather than “wanting to sell” or “lfg” rather than looking for group—these are rare situations where an acronym is acceptable based on chat length or to span language differences so to speak—a person from France may not know what I’m saying to them in game but still has the knowledge to know to ask for a group by saying “lfg.” I am even guilty of using "lol" in game and in chat—at least it is an acronym and not blatant disregard of spelling. Although, after my rant, I am sure someone is sure to point out the hypocrisy in that. We’ll leave this portion of the discussion for another day!

What I am complaining about is your daily grind of living and typing with netspeak, on facebook, twitter or via text. Habits are enforced by repetitiveness and if one continually reinforces “u” then that is eventually going to be the acceptable way to spell it. I do not want this for my daughter. You don’t have to be an English professor or have the best grammar in the world to know how to spell “you.” It really isn’t that hard to type two more letters and it keeps you from looking as if you need to go back to preschool. It truly is a shame that we spend so much time teaching children in their early years to spell correctly and then throw it away by not correcting their netspeak.

This is me as a parent taking the pledge to revoke my child’s facebook and texting privileges for abusing the education that I have been encouraging her to take seriously for the last six years. She knows the consequences will be a week without the internet for her next offense. I encourage you to take a stand as well! We will build our child’s self-esteem and confidence by building up their vocabulary. You wouldn’t let your child make a fool of themselves on a regular basis in public, right? Because that is exactly what they’re doing on facebook…take a stand and say no to netspeak!


6 Responses to “Did "u" really just type that?! ”

  1. This seems very silly to me and I am an English teacher. Children know how to spell "you" or "people." Do you know what children, and many adults, don't know? The differences between "your" and "you're." The difference between "its" and "it's." And in the South, how to spell "y'all." (Which shouldn't be used as good spelling, but if you are using it to quote someone you should spell it correctly.) There are other ones that I am just not thinking of right now that people actually don't know and make themselves look uneducated by not knowing. In my opinion, it is better to teach a child that some language, such as "u" and "thx," should be used in casual, social situations, but not in academic situations, and concentrate on commonly-incorrect grammar rules that she might not know that would be useful in all situations. Fighting over the language of her generation is just going to result in a fight over her own identity, not her knowledge of the English language.

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    1. Everyone has their own opinion :) My daughter actually admitted to me though that she felt "pressured" to talk the way everyone else was but did not actually feel comfortable doing it. I was glad I went with my instincts :)

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  2. I, for one, completely agree with you on this and I'm pretty ashamed at the way my generation speaks most of the time. I think that spelling (and even grammar!) are important and the way you choose to speak over the internet/text reflects on your intelligence as a person, whether you want it to or not. Besides, typing out the whole word gives you keyboarding practice and that's a good skill to have. The more you type the whole word, the faster you will be at it until it takes you the same time to say 'you too' as it takes others to say 'u 2'. Also, chat-speak is just generally annoying to read, at least in my opinion. Acronyms are one thing, those generally make sense, but the unnecessary shortening of already relatively short words is just an eyesore. =/

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    1. Sunrea, I think you put the keyboard skills into words better than I did. Yes, the more you type "you too" the easier it will become. I want my daughter to be respected by her peers. The skills she will need to be respected by co-workers and friends are learned as a child. It is my job to make sure that she has the best chance of being a productive member of society. If her "friends" make her question her identity with their peer pressure and use of netspeak then she needs a new set of friends. :)

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  3. I admit, I am guilty of using "thx" and other shortened words while texting. I do it completely as a time-saving tool since I am very impatient, and don't want to waste any more time than I already am to send a simple message. AND I know that whoever I am texting will know what I'm trying to say. I think of it as unofficial contractions :)
    That said, what does annoy me is when someone goes out of their way to "netspeak" and instead of saving time, it just looks silly. Example "yuu" for "you." Umm...Why? lol
    But like you said, you are entitled to your own pet-peeves, especially when it comes to your own children:)It would probably annoy me too if I saw my kids doing it (not on text thought.)

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  4. Very well said! I am in a similar situation. She does not like to write but in homeschooling I have to encourage it so she has a pen pal. I grammar check her letters. Well she had written her last letter with a TON of texting short hand to a girl who does not text. I was like no way you rewrite this think in proper English.

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I'm a stay at home/work at home mama and I love to read. I have six beautiful daughters who inspire me to be a better person and to pursue wisdom.

When I'm not busy reading and reviewing books or spending time with my daughters I am busy crafting for two online businesses. You can find handmade bath and body items at  A Simply Enchanted Life and handcrafted jewelry at Sapphire Haven.