In the last week I un-chose a potential book for review when I discovered it was full of emails/text messages/tweets and whatever else. It was a book that – judged by the press release – had looked fairly promising.
I don’t actually mind a book containing a lot of these modern ways of communicating with people. I just don’t want the pages to be full of different fonts, formats and ‘pretend’ real tech conversations. They make my eyes hurt.
So when in doubt and having too much to read, that is a do-not-pick criteria for me.
Text messages in themselves are of course not bad. But what about the text message shorthand, that was invented at a time when texters were in too much of a hurry – or needed to look cool? ‘Shorthand’ like the stupid title of this piece, ‘r u 2 l8?’
Because when I started pondering the latest ways of keeping in touch, I realised that this way of ‘typing’ in text messages is no longer necessary. With predictive typing and better phones, we can afford to use proper words in full sentences if we are so inclined.
And I have to admit that I am. I always was, insisting on labouring through and typing ‘Are you too late?’ even when texting involved keys with three letters per key plus whatever you did for numbers. Because it looks better and doesn’t take much thinking about when deciphering, and didn’t save me any time, as I’d have had to have a long think about what to replace those ordinary typed words with. And just generally because I’m OCD.
The thing is, the latest smartphones notwithstanding, textspeak still appears in YA novels. Recent ones, even. If the authors are out of touch, or simply didn’t stop to consider the issue, then surely editors might have suggested editing this out? It was a pain to read in short texts on a mobile, but it is far worse when it’s a whole novel.
Or, it could turn out that I am the dinosaur here. Maybe it’s so cool, that u still want 2 use the shortcuts?