I was in an interview today, and the interviewers asked me questions and I realized I couldn’t really answer their questions. Not because I was unprepared or didn’t understand them, but rather because they were too generalized. You see, in life, we always talk “in general” but the problem with that is, there are no true circumstances that are “in general”. For example, if a child was sad and crying, in general a good person would try to comfort them right? But what if that child had just stabbed you in the eye? They felt bad and started crying but you surely aren’t going to rush to them and say “it’s okay, everything will be fine.” Or what about the millions of kids being abused at this very moment? You aren’t rushing out to help them. Does this make you a bad person because you don’t do what a “in general” good person would do? Or what about this. Would you want a row boat or a Lamborghini? Well in general you would say a Lamborghini, but in practice, a row boat would probably be able to save your life since you’re on an abandoned island in this circumstance. You see, everything in the world is circumstantial. These examples were purposely outrageous just to open the door of reality to you. But now think about it in your life. When someone asks you what you want to do, doesn’t it change depending on who asks? Doesn’t it change depending on what you can do? We often answer things that are for in general discussions, but we forget that these scenarios in which we are answering for, don’t really exist. In general ideas are good to an extent, but you must realize in life that everything is situational not general and we’ve only prepared ourselves for the general.
We are an ever evolving species, becoming smarter and smarter every second. We are now more capable than at any time in our past because our brains are developing faster and we are living longer to allow for more use of our intellect. As we evolve, so do our means of communication. Just last year, text messaging was unheard of. Please note the hyperbole, but realize that the way the written message is sent and received has vastly improved in a short amount of time. With this new type of communication came shorthand to further increase the speed at which ideas can travel. Whole sentences are cut down into mere letters and more and more acronyms are being made every day. Now we can think of these as a breakdown in society where all the children who talk like dis r social degenerates, or we can realize what they are really doing to the English language: improving it. I have never written a paper and had my teacher say, “You must write ‘t is’ instead of ‘it’s’ because it’s proper.” That would be silly since “it’s” is perfectly proper.
So, logically thinking, since “OMG” is the same sort of contraction as “it’s”, shouldn’t it be accepted in writing? Also, if you can convey a complete idea in one word, why do we need a whole sentence? We are so caught up in believing that the contractions and shortcuts that kids engineered are harmful, but we forget that we grew up with the same type of thing. We also forget these contractions are more advanced intellectually than their constituent words since they have combined meaning and came after the original words. Perhaps English teachers need to wake up and realize that this new shorthand is some of the most advanced writing there’s been since Shakespeare.