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lol and its world takeover

A warning: this post is in no way deep or meaningful.

I can admit it: I am a big user of lol, omg, <3,>

But sometimes I wonder if, in the age of texting and constant internet access, we might not always be doing ourselves a favor with fun abbreviations. I’ve always been sort of obsessed with grammar, but it surprises me how many people I see who confuse your/you’re, there/their/they’re, two/too/to, it’s/its…and the list goes on. (Watch. There will now be a misuse of one of these somewhere in this post, because of my self-righteousness.) Is it maybe in part because they're rarely given the opportunity to practice using them correctly? Have we just stopped caring?

I know this can’t be blamed all on our love of abbreviating everything, but I know I can’t be the only one who has accidentally typed “omg” or “lol” into a WIP (or worse—a school paper). It happens; the brain forgets that no, you’re not typing jokes back and forth right now with your best friend, you’re writing a paper about why the Roman Empire failed. Or you shoot off that email to the agent who requested a partial with a line like: “I’ve attached the first thirty pages, as you requested :)”. They don’t so much want to see the smiley faces, cute as they are. But sometimes, it’s just so easy to forget!

It makes me wonder if, one day, we’ll get to the point where books are littered with words like: srsly, tho, IMO, BTW and LMAO. Or sentences like, “his face went all >:(” Will we eventually just give up on trying to be correct? I hope not, despite the fact that I am a total fan of abbreviating and drawing pretty smiles in informal situations. So long as they don’t take over the world.
Kaitlin Ward

Kaitlin Ward is the author of Bleeding Earth, Adaptive Books 2016, and The Farm, coming 2017 from Scholastic.

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  1. Haha. No, I agree. There's certain places where fun abbreviations are fine, but it is important to know where to draw the line (like in queries, etc.). I've been wondering if the LOL's and OMG's would be surfacing in actual books soon.

  2. Despite the fact that when Im messaging my friends I say OMG LOL and other such goodies, I would really hate to see them in books. I mean if its a story about texting or something, thats understandable (though I probably wouldn't read it)... but I just think it would detract from the story. Its one of those jarring things you know? Like, if you're really into the whole thing and the word flow is stellar and your sinking, sinking... LOL!

    You'd be like WHAT? Where did that come from... and it would be a definite let down.

    Luckily I've yet to type anythig like that in a school paper or in my WIP... though that is probably because I put myself in two entirely different mindsets...

    Great blog BTW (sorry, couldn't resist)

  3. I agree with Melissa...unless there's a text message in the book, I would cringe if I saw LOL or OMG. I'd be like, WTF? (Sorry.)

    Students are using text language in formal papers more and more. Not to be cute, but because they don't know any better.

    I wonder if people who don't write will eventually forget certain words exist. For example: gasp. No one says, "And then he gasped!" They say, "And then he was all like (insert gasp noise here)!". It's frightening.

  4. I can honestly say that I've never written LOL or OMG in one of my books. I'm not much of a texter, actually, so I guess I have nothing to worry about....LOL

  5. LOL, great post. And, as the mouthpiece for the Grammar Groupie I heartily agree about the sad decline in proper grammar.


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Item Reviewed: lol and its world takeover Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kaitlin Ward