Saturday, 18 February 2012

Chortle out loud

After yesterday’s word related rant post I was having a think last night (Yay! Insomnia!) about vocabulary and the way that words are used these days. I was thinking about how there are so many rich, wondrous words available to us to use to describe things and feelings and yet everyone seems hell bent on abbreviating everything as much as possible. The introduction of text speak (or txt spk) which has crept into our lives, stealing all the vowels is now being used in totally inappropriate situations. I actually grimace when I get an email in work which says “u” instead of “you” or “thnx” instead of “thanks”. I have actually had a work email which said “LOL” too!

And this is another thing I have found. The abbreviations that litter emails, texts and even magazines these days are not only stealing our vowels, but inhibiting our use of the many words available to us, by virtue of the restrictions imposed by the abbreviations (or acronyms as they are also known).

The main word that comes to mind in this way is the humble laugh. The introduction of LOL, LMAO, ROFL and even LMFAO has made it all about the laugh. What about the other words to describe the noises we make when amused? When is a laugh not a laugh? When it’s a giggle, that’s when. Or a chortle. There are a plethora of words which are going to disappear from our language if we don’t carry on using them.

Here are a few of my personal favourites:




Titter (Oooh-err matron)


I have written before about pledging to read the printed word, but it may be time to start a pledge to use the spoken word before it’s too late and it starts to become acceptable to write without using vowels and in a complex code of abbreviations.



  1. I loathe text speak with a great passion. What I find truly horrible though are people who actually talk in 'text speak'. I know one girl who will insist on saying 'v. good' or even 'lol' in conversation!

    It's really frightening!

  2. Elaine, I know a lot of people who say OMG when they are speaking too! So annoying!!

    With text talk, I don't mind so much with shortening but what really winds me up is when people change words to how it sounds, for example 'iz' I don't get this at all, because it's not saving you any time, and sounds ridiculous! There are loads like it, there you go - 'loadz' I don't understand the obsession with Z