Tag Archives: grammar

Hashing it out with Hashtags

When people hear I’m an editor, the first thing they often assume is that I’m the grammar police.

I am not.

However, I do love language and a little part of my soul dies every time I see it abused. And unfortunately, that happens every time I go on the Internet and am inundated with strings of acronyms and hashtags instead of actual sentences.

Now let’s get something straight.

I like Twitter. I like texting in small doses. I like Facebook updates that don’t involve a laundry list of your accomplishments, ailments or actual laundry list. But to each their own, I get it.

What I don’t get is how it’s now acceptable to stop actually using full words and stringing them together in these things that we call “sentences” to complete thoughts and instead abbreviating them to an acronym or hashtag.

Instead of writing something excitedly, people now lazily throw in #excited. They go with  #missingyou instead of writing “I miss you.”  And instead of adding a caption to the photo of their completely ordinary breakfast, you get 12 hashtags that make absolutely no sense and just look ridiculous–#breakfast #eggporn #toast #breakthefast #truth #food #idontevenknowwhatimdoinganymore #hashbrowns

Really? It’s come to that?

I’ve heard the excuse that it’s faster, but if you type “UR” instead of “you’re” and then add extra “Os” to indicate “UR SOOO happy it’s Friday,” I think that you’re blowing your cover—or that you don’t know which “you’re” you should use.

Simply #WTF

That combination hashtag/acronym above is my attempt at a segue into texting/online abbreviations, such as the ever-popular “LOL” that most often serves as a convenient way to end a boring electronic conversation.

Half the time these things make no sense — no one is literally rolling on the floor laughing their ass off (ROFLMAO), and if they are, they had best log off and seek immediate medical attention — and the other half of the time I have no idea what they mean because THEY AREN’T ACTUALLY WORDS.

So because I’m annoyed and am looking to change my world in some way—the rest of the world is up to you guys—I have proposed some more practical meanings to common acronyms that make more sense to me.

ROFLMAO: Ready? Okay. First Let’s Make Acronyms Original

WTF: Where’s The Food?

STFU: Scanning Twitter for Unfollowers

GI: Google It

IRL: I’m Relaxing. Leave.

RMBI: Read My Blog Instead

OMG: Overused Minced Garlic

BFF: Boobs Falling Flat

CRGOYDF: Conversation Required. Get Off Your Damn Phone

TTYL: Tea Trumps Your Latte

SMH: Swiffering My House

NIWYM: No Idea What You Mean

IMHO: I’m Making Hummus, Okay?

FML: Feeling Mighty Lazy

FWIW: Frequent Whining. I’m Writing.

ASAP: Attention! Send Abby Pesto

LOL: Laundry. Overflowing Laundry

BRB: Busy Reading Books

YJMTUYW: You Just Made That Up You Weirdo

snowdeck

FTW: F*@$ This Winter

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Any suggestions you would add to the list?

Hyperthetically Speaking

When people hear I’m an editor, the first thing they often assume is that I’m the grammar police. I am not.

tense

I do love a good grammar joke.

While I unfortunately/reflexively think in AP Style and know the difference between “that” and “which,” that doesn’t mean I’m not constantly referring to the AP Stylebook at work or that I always remember that a preposition is something never to end a sentence with.

And I’ve accepted—not excepted—the fact that I will never be able to correctly spell words like definitely on my first or third try. But there are  a few things that do make me lose—not loose—my cool with how language is often used.

Aha! There is one of them!

Lately the word “used” is being replaced by “utilize”—one of those “smart” words people throw into in hoping to sound fancy or amazingly intelligent.

Quick lesson: The definition of utilize implies taking something and using it for an unintended purpose (convert to use.) Meanwhile, the definition of use means employing any old thing to achieve your goal, whether or not you use that any old thing for its intended purpose. So if you are not actually creating an alternate use for something, utilize is the wrong word.

Don’t use it.

With that out of the way, I have to admit that I do have a list of other words that I have personally witnessed the abuse of on multiple occasions, and I don’t feel bad specifically—not pacifically—pointing out these examples.

It’s not me being especially—not expecially—picky, but rather being helpful. Because I can tell you from a professional standpoint that for all intents and purposes—not intensive purposes—if you say/type something incorrectly, there’s a chance that someone could have—not could of—misunderstood what you were trying to say.

grammarecard

So occasionally pointing out to someone that “spelt” is a type of wheat and “spelled” is what they’ve done incorrectly is actually a public service.

Regardless—not irregardless, mind you—I figured I could probably—not prolly—vent my frustrations—not flusterations—here of a couple things I have seen (not saw.)

Hypothetically—not hyperthetically—speaking, let’s say you are engaging in an email conversation with someone and they asked—not axed—you if you had talked to a certain individual about his work ethic—not work ethnic.

A reply of, “He surposedly/supposably logged in five hours on Monday” will appear confusing to the recipient because “surposedly” is not a real word and “supposably,” although a real word that means “able to be supposed,” is not a synonym for “supposedly.”

catastrophe

This really doesn’t have to do with anything, but I thought it was funny.

Anyway, I could go on with another—not nother—example or two, but that would probably just sound too petty. In general, I really couldn’t care less about a lot of these except the misuse of “could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less.” That one just pisses me off.

Plus, I know that sometimes it’s simply a matter of hitting the wrong key on the keyboard, like the time I shared that I was “super busty” instead of “super busy.” (Looks up at the sky, twiddling her thumbs and innocently whistling a tune.)

After all, mistakes happen—hypothetically speaking, of course.

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Any flusterations you would like to vent?