My mom is very efficient. Maybe too efficient, she wrote pxkit in one of her recent short messages to me. It took me awhile before I understood that what she meant was ‘penyakit’ (illness). Yes, she has been using x as a short-hand for 'nya', the suffix; and I figured that out. But x in the middle of a word? That was kind of new to me.
This morning, Simon Gower complains in The Jakarta Post about too many short-hands used in text language. He listed, among all, 2b for ‘to be’, gr8 for ‘great’, 4c for ‘foresee’, and even the already very obvious ones like cu for ‘see you’, ur for ‘your’, or (again, even!) wanna for ‘want to’. He calls all this ‘oddities’. And he asks, “Can we stop this SMS mess?”
My answer would be “No, we shouldn’t even try”. I think short-hands in hand phone textings are fun and clever. Gower indeed admits that "these oddities have their place", but he quickly adds, "that place is surely on the small screen of mobile phone where space (and texting fees) is of concern". O’coz, datz d whol idea, mr!
Gower goes even further as saying that the ‘oddities’ can create an "unnecessary intrusion for people who are learning the English language". Why on earth should we bother with those who are studying English? It ain’t me mom’s buz.
Gower is right that ideas (delivered in the way of his accused oddities) "run the risk of getting lost if the reader is not familiar with the short-hand or just cannot be bothered to spend time to figure it out". Two things here. If I were to text you, I would have to make sure (or at least assume on my own risk) that you would understand what I would be saying, with or without short-hands. On the other hand, if I accept a weird sms with oddities, I would simply trash it right away, unless I am interested, for which case I would simply reply with ‘?’ – This has been working well so far.So, Mr. Gower, relax. I hope d govt ppl r all out 4 holidays, so no time 2 read