Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's become of the English language?

I don't profess to be the best writer or speaker of the English language, nope not me. Lately tho, I find myself wondering what the heck some people are saying. I don't think it is my age that makes it harder for me to understand what is being written in this age of technology. I'm too young for that!

Years ago, when I worked for police departments as a dispatcher we used 10 codes. 10-44 meant an officer was asking for lunch. 10-50PI meant a car accident with injuries. 10-99 meant a person was wanted or a car was stolen. My all time favorite was 10-96 which meant mental case. I always liked to try to speak English as much as I could, and not use the 10 codes. For example instead of saying 10-4, which meant okay, I would just say okay. Seemed simple enough to me.

Now days, Barb, Betty and I meet on a game site to play games with and against each other. This way, if one of us gets upset the others don't have to worry about us taking our toys and leaving. There's no throwing fits, or threatening to tell Mommy. It has been a great way to be together across the miles.

On this game site there is a "chat" feature, not unlike Yahoo! Instant Messenger, or text messaging on a cell phone. Sometimes I join these "chats", to let everyone know the weather in my corner of Montana, or to talk about family, or to tease Betty and Barb. You know, just to be part of the community. I like to write full words when I chat. None of this yqw (you're quite welcome), or tyvm (thank you very much). If I want to tell someone thank you, I do by writing it out. There are exceptions, such as lol, or lmao, I will use those.

There have been many times I scratch my head in wonderment at what is being written. I just can't figure out what the string of letters means. In those instances I don't say much at all. I could be giving away the farm or something. I've said yes to many a thing I should have said no to, because I didn't hear a person right in the first place. Who hasn't? Recently, I found an alphabetized list of what the string of letters mean, eight pages worth! I think I am going to stick to writing my words out. I'd hate to make someone angry at me, because I read ns to mean no sh**, instead of what it does mean "nice score".

So, afaic I wstwmwo, or I might become 10-96! Kwim?


Fram Actual said...

I really enjoyed this post, Boni, and I agree with you.

I sometimes even avoid using contractions. Part of it is my English major / newspaper style attitude, and part of it is that I do not want to take the time to learn something I have very limited use for.

Despite our feelings, idioms do creep into our personal language. For example, I always stuck with Marine Corps' language, "say again," rather than copper talk, "10-9," for garbled radio transmissions and unrecognized telephone talk.

Katy said...

Agree with you completely Boni. Or should that be 10-4? :-)

its_me_in_montana said...


I'm glad you enjoyed this post. It's funny but every time I see you write the word "copper" in a comment, I hear James Cagney's voice.

As always, thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog posts immensely.

its_me_in_montana said...

Hi Katy,

I'm glad you agreed, I had a feeling you would. That's a big 10-4 good buddy (that's truck driver lingo too). Have a great day!

Fram Actual said...

Me and Jimmy was pals, girlie.

Billy Mac said...

nice post... love it! hahah!