The new lexicon

I get into a conversation more often than I’d like about our changing language.

There was a local NPR talk show discussing the loss of languages in our world. Apparently  half of the 700 world languages are standing on the brink of extinction. But there’s no mention here on the sprouting languages that are replacing ancient tongues.

For instance, look at the title of this blog: BTW, WTF. It’s symbolic of our changing language. negev-hebrewTeachers, parents, elders complain about the youth not being able to form a complete sentence. But in the modern world of texting, Facebooking and Tweeting, where brevity is king, language is being condensed, abbreviated, implied and omitted.

If you look at Hebrew, you will notice its absence of vowels. Sure, there are vowel dots on some texts, but true Hebrew is written in a condensed form where the vowels are implied. In Braille, also, the code for contracted Braille omits letters and vowels. A single symbol can stand for an entire word. This may be a moot point, in that we are still using these language families to construct true sentences, with a subject, a verb and a predicate. But perhaps we are failing to understand the hidden nuances in the modern language that is rapidly being developed before our eyes, actually on our LCD and touch screens.

What does “LOL” or “BTW” or “snd me txt” leave out? The message is clearly there. We are still communicating and gleaning meaning from these language codes. Of course, Shaw and Shakespeare would wonder what we were saying, but as long as we know what’s going on we can save our fellow human from being eaten by a mastadon.


If Watergate broke today …

News of MJ’s death spread across Twitter and Facebook yesterday faster than crabs at band camp. As my friend Rebecca points out on Facebook, updates on social networking sites are becoming the source for news — and if  the story of Watergate broke today it might look a little like this:

@d33pthroat1 Dude! @nix is such an ass! Sent posse to @waterg8 for “fact finding” mission. WHTVR!

Here is BTW, WTF?!?!’s interpretation of how some other historic news stories might break today:

The OJ murder trial:
@thejuice Need my black gloves back.

@trippin1998 Can you suggest a good dry cleaner? @laydzmanpotusa has terrible aim. LOL!

JFK assassination:
@jackie It’s a beautiful day in Dallas. Let’s take the convertible.