K…an We Talk About Text Etiquette?

Good Morning Friends! Happy Friday! (If you’re reading this from Facebook, for the love of all that is holy, just CLICK THE LINK. Thank you) 🙂

Now that the 30 day 60 day blog challenge is over, it’s time to talk about something else & today I want to talk about the alphabet. There are numerous languages, each having its own unique means of written communication, but for today we are going to focus on the English alphabet; just 26 letters is all it takes to create all the words you see here & many, many more. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We can say anything we want to say with the use of just 26 letters, & maybe the occasional emoji (or not so occasional if you’re like me & people don’t know you’re kidding unless you use a smiley at the end of everything). What happens when we have all these magnificent options at our disposal and we choose to use only one of them? You know which one. That’s right…the obnoxious “K.”

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We’re all probably guilty, but let’s examine this for a moment. Why do we do this? Are we just getting so many texts that all we can manage to muster is a single letter before we move on to the next text? Like celebrities: when you get their autograph they always write “best wishes” or something arbitrary followed by an “x” (or an “xo” if you’re really lucky) and a scribble that looks vaguely like it might contain at least one actual letter of their name. Then you get shoved down the line so the super important celebrity can lather, rinse & repeat with the hundreds of people behind you. Are we that important that we can’t wrangle up at least one extra letter? “OK,” perhaps? (Though, to be honest, that’s probably only marginally less annoying than “K.”)

What about the days when you were charged by the text, both incoming and outgoing? I can’t be the only one who got more than a little annoyed when someone cost me 10 cents just to say, “K.” For 10 cents you better have been sending me a full sentence complete with no unnecessary shorthand & proper punctuation.

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I know the point I made above is now considered moot since the majority of us are fortunate enough to be on some sort of plan which allows for unlimited texting, so why is this “K” thing still so annoying? For me there are two reasons:

1.) “K” has too many possible interpretations.

K, what?

As in, “Ok, Cool,” “I’m looking forward to it,” or ‘K’ as in “whatever. I’m done talking to you, you chatty nerd.” Or, “I’m sorry, my hands were bitten off by a t-rex & I can only text with my nose. ‘K’ is the best I can do.” The most terrifying thing to go through my mind might be, “K. Because I’m going to feed you to a shark. Shark has K in it.”

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135ee6abbb34c616b6b3144d97f77e65-jpgWhat do you mean?! There are no tonal clues with the letter K. There are no facial cues, no body language we can assess to determine if this letter is friendly or if this letter has nefarious, diabolical plans which include me ending up with a hole in my neck. Those of us with anxious brains prone to over-thinking need answers to these questions.

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2.) Time. I am busy. Maybe not I get 5000 texts in a day because I’m so important busy, but I do have a husband, 3 kids, a small business, a need to take time out to exercise, errands to run, a dog to walk, bills to pay, homework to help with, & endless amounts of laundry & dishes to do. I’m busy the way most of us are busy so while my time may not be any more or less important than yours, stopping what I’m doing to find my phone (which, at this point, is basically always on a charger which is not in the same room with me) just to read one lonely letter & nearly have a panic attack over the possible meanings of that letter & how to respond (or not), feels like a waste of time, energy, & internet data.

Bonus reason: while I know this is not always the intention, it can be rude.

Of course, we’re all going to do it every now and then, but if you frequently reply with a letter when I’m trying to have a conversation with you, please know that I’ve thought about cutting you.

Me: Hey, love! How are you?

Them: k

Me: K, good? or K, bad?

Them: just k

Me: There is no such thing as “just k.”

Them: k

Me: *screams*

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Can you relate? Does ‘K’ bother you? Why or why not? Do you have any fun reasons to add or creative responses to people who frequently do the ‘K’ thing? I’m planning a post on how to respond to ‘K’ and I’d love to see your best answers!

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Courtesy; It’s a Thing. Look It Up.

I’m here today to give you a random lesson in etiquette.

Generally speaking, I’m not a bitter or judgmental person. But, there are things…*sigh*….there are things that will make me stop & consider whether or not you were just never taught or if you are, in fact, an excretory opening at the end of the alimentary canal; or, in simpler terms: an asshole.

A few of these things land you closer to the ‘Full-On A-Hole’ end of the spectrum without much thought, but there are some less offensive infractions that, while annoying, don’t make you an “excretory opening.” One of those things involves etiquette in its written form.

Example:

If you are expecting someone to perform a service for you, a little thoughtfulness goes a long way. If I send you a friendly, respectfully worded message with complete sentences & full consideration of what is most conducive for you & your needs, then the least you could do is respond with a little friendliness of your own. Do not send me an email with one incomplete sentence or a short, one-word answer and ignore everything else I said. That’s just rude.

If I send this:

Hey Lucy!

I’m so glad you made it to Jane’s party. It was really great to meet you there! Thank you so much for requesting a party of your own. I’m excited to work out the details and get something set up for you! Have you given any thought to what your expectations are for your party? If you haven’t, no worries, we can figure it out together. Are you available on (day, time, etc.)? Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with!

Hope to hear from you soon,

Beth

And you respond with this:

Yea

?????!!!!????!!!!

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I don’t know what to do with that. I don’t know if you’re having second thoughts about working with me, if something is going on in your life and you just didn’t have the energy to expend on responding to me…if you’re simply ignorant, just don’t like typing, or which of my questions you’re responding to. I don’t even know if that’s you to be honest because you didn’t even sign it. Should I go ahead and assume you’re responding to my question about when you’re available and try to set up a date for us to talk or what? WHAT THE FUNK do I do with ‘yea‘?! For someone who is obsessed with courtesy & grammar, you have to understand how frustrating this is!

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No. No, NO, no.

Lucy, let me ‘splain somethin’ to ya. You have to give me something to work with. Your response doesn’t have to be the epitome of thoughtful, cordial conversation, but it does have to answer my questions and be coherent enough that we can continue our correspondence without me having to bang my head against my keyboard for five minutes wondering how I can respond to you without seeming stupid, incompetent, or rude (which is completely unfair since you’re the one who couldn’t even take the time to place a period behind one effing word). *Deep breath.*

Ideally, your response would resemble this:

Hey Beth!

It was great to meet you at Jane’s party as well. It was a lot of fun! Thank you for taking the time to follow up with me. (I have or have not thought about my expectations for my party and they are as follows.) Yes, I am available (date time, etc.). Just let me know where you’d like to meet. See you soon!

Thanks again,

Lucy

The message above is short, complete, direct, and also thoughtful. It answers each section of the message that I sent you, and leaves me with no doubts or other questions that do not directly pertain to the service you need me to provide for you. As a bonus, it also leaves room for a real friendship to be born out of our business transaction because at this point I’m just thinking about how nice you are & I’m excited to get together with you.

 But even if it just looked like this, I’d be happy:

Hey Beth,

Yeah, I’m available that day. Where do you want to meet?

Because at least then I know exactly what question you’re responding to and you’ve given me a clear invitation to continue the conversation by asking me a question. Now neither one of us looks stupid, incompetent, rude, or like an A-hole. All it takes is being nice.

Common courtesy isn’t so common anymore. Let’s change that one interaction at a time.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by the Sheriff of The Nice Police. I implore you to stop being a lazy responder & get your shit together or the people who provide services for you are going to think you’re an asshole and never want to work with you again.

Or at the very least, they might be tempted to spit in your dinner.

Like OMG! 4COL!

Heyy Guyyss!

Soooo, I wass like thinking & stuff. Yyou know…about thoooose ppl who do that thing whr theyy like write half of everyything w/like extrra letters n stuff n then tha othrr half is either short-hand or horibblyy misspelllledd. Like, what’s the deal? Whyy wld u extract letterss from 1 word just 2 add them 2 another word? Like…totallyy.

Okay, that’s enough of that. I have no illusions that I’d be able to keep up that tomfoolery for the duration of this post. But do you see my point? Teenagers: You look and sound RIDICULOUS. Unless you’re sending a text where you’re limited to 160 characters, there’s no need for all the short-hand. Or Twitter where you’re limited to a measly 140 characters. (I’m convinced TwitLonger was created exclusively for me & my long-windedness.) Texting and short-hand has become so ingrained in the culture of our youth that they even write (completely craptastic) songs about it.

And only the young people (I say that like I’m not just 26 myself) understand it. Really – I have to know…what is “lmho?” I could google it, but I’d rather one of my lovely, faithful readers tell me. To be honest, I’m hoping none of you can because if you did that would just confirm the notion that I am, in fact, “old” according to my thirteen year old nieces and nephews. (Unless you googled it…then we’d be on equal footing.) The fact that 26 could be considered old to some astounds me, but you know – as the young people who are too lazy to pronounce a whole word would say – “Whatevs.”

I’m just wondering if these kids even take English anymore because the way they write completely defies every rule of language I’ve ever heard. We rarely took out letters before texting came along unless it was a bonafide abbreviation. For instance “with” turned into “w/” if we were just trying to save some time. We might have used “bc” “’cause” or “cuz” in place of because, but that was about as crazy as it got. When we added extra letters to a word, it was to convey emphasis. Example: “I Loooooooooove You!!!” Now people are adding letters simply on the basis that it looks good on a serial killer or professional stalker application. Or taking them out, whichever.

(Or IDK...like...mayybe it's justt meee. Like mayybe otherr ppl did that xtra letter vs. shrthnd stuff when I was n like...that place...u know...skool. N like I just totallyy didn't notice cuz I am like...not n2 payying attn. 2 stoopid ppl.)

Have you noticed a lot of people can’t even be bothered for a single effing letter!? “I Love You” has now officially been turned into “I Luv U.” I even see it on teddy bears around Valentine’s which is just sad. (Also sad – those of you who are still calling it Valentime’s.)

And taking out letters? How does this jive with adding letters? You’re too lazy to say “whatever” in its entirety, (which, if I may point out, is only one more lousy syllable!!!!) but you spend time adding letters to words that don’t need extra letters for no other reason than…what? I can’t even think of a reason to do that and that’s something because my brain is full of all kinds of crazy shenanigans that don’t make sense. What about “cray cray?” It’s the same amount of syllables as saying “crazy” so why!? “Ooh Lord, boi – u so cray cray.” Please don’t say that to the hearing impaired. There’s no telling what they’ll think you just said.

It drives me crazy (cray cray!) to see what my nieces, nephews & younger cousins post on facebook because I always wonder if they write in school that way. It would be terrifying to me if someone said they did. And I do mean TERRIFYING as in “a cause to feel great fear” because I love English & language in general. Naturally, being a lover of language and vernacular, it makes me cringe to see certain things & then I fear for the state of humanity. What will life be like when our world leaders are exchanging potentially life-altering texts while chillin’ on the toilet?

Future President: What his text says: “IDK wh@ u wnt me 2 say bout SS. LBATM.” What his text means: “I don’t know what you want me to say about social security. I’m a little busy at the moment.”

Future Senator: What his text says: “?” What his text means: “Doing what?”

Future President: What his text says: “Making deposit.” What his text means: “I’m taking a dump.”

Future Senator: What his text says: “In SS acct?” What his text means: “In the social security account?

Future President: What his text says: “Yyes.” …. No further translation needed.

I’m tellin’ ya, people! This is dangerous! I could go on for a while about this, but in an effort to shut the hello up (which y’all know I have issues with) I’m just going to ask one more question. How do you teenagers know what this means:

MW. TUL8r…..NBG. OK 2 txt now lolz.”

(Sidenote: Okay I have to ask 2 more questions – Why do you people put a “Z” on the end of “Lol!?” Laughing out loudz….Seriously?)

Honestly, that could mean anything! It could be:

“Mouth Watering. Tul ate her….Nice Booger Glob. OK to text now laughing out loudz” [Which is both gross and frightening. Nice Booger Glob does make me “lolz” though.]

“Monday – Wednesday. Tell you later….Not Been Good. Okay to text now laughing out loudlyz” In this case, it’s safe to assume the person you’re texting is having a bad day, in which case, I wonder why they would be “laughing out loudlyz”. 

But in reality it actually means something like:

“Mom Watching. Text you later….Nosy B-word Gone. Okay to text now laughing out loudz [because I totallyy just called my mom, {who gave birth to me & raised me & loves my spoiled arse} a B-word.”]

OK BFFs (Blogger Friends Forever!! *hair toss*)

Who can tell me what the title of this post means? Go ahead…make your best guesses 🙂

TTFN! TTYL! XOX!

PS…Dear God,

HELP US.

Amen.