Is Texting the End of Writing and PR?

I blame shoe companies for this. Perhaps not Nike, which represents the Greek goddess of “Victory.” Or New Balance, which means folk with corns and bunions can actually walk straight. However, ADIDAS was thinking prophetically when its makers developed the brand and thought, “One day, these idiot kids won’t be able to speak in complete sentences, so acronyms. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

It has largely been public thinking that ADIDAS means “All Day I Dream About Sport” or “…Soccer.” If that were true, that would explain everything, but since the story of the brand’s inception hails from two Nazi brothers that stopping liking each other but later became entrepreneurs, so much for that theory.

I have more than 20 years of PR and writing experience. I say that, as well as the aforementioned sport branding conversation, to say this, “Text language sucks out loud.” And here’s more proof — a study from a Minneapolis professor named Cedric May. He changes a reading assignment, which he sent the notice out via email. He didn’t use Facebook, Twitter or even “gram” the dumb thing, so it was ignored.

“Some of them didn’t even seem to know they had a college e-mail account,” May said. Nor were these wide-eyed freshmen. “This is considered a junior-level class, so they’d been around.” That is when he added to his course syllabuses: “Students must check e-mail daily.” May said the university now recommends similar wording.

My question is this: If students today have completely disregarded email, is there any coming back from the world of over-acronyms and abbreviating everything known to man? How will that affect professions that require writing in diagrammed sentences, such as journalism, editing and PR? I think strikingly.

Earlier this year, Time magazine’s John McWhorter wrote “Is texting killing the human language?” In a word, yes. You know it’s bad when flacks are sitting in their cubs, editing papers and talking in text language, “OMG, Shawn. OMG. Did you know I was in your office earlier? You totes got a call. No JK. TTYL!”

I could have strangled the girl, not that I’m mean or anything but you can’t edit speech — just stop the person from talking. I’m trying to help America. What are you doing? I’m trying to rid the PR world of this calamity one spoken LOL at a time. Texting has a developed its own vernacular, and for what? Because life is too busy to laugh out loud literally?!

Flacks, we cannot expect our clients to trust us if they read our texts or see us in social media using text lingo. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s English that sucks. I mean, think about it:

  • Writers write but fingers don’t “fing”
  • There is no egg in eggplant, ham in hamburger, pine in pineapple and, well you get the idea
  • Vegetarians eat vegetables but no one wants to talk about what humanitarians should eat
  • Why are a slim chance and a fat chance the same, when if I were to ask Weight Watchers about that, they would say something different

Maybe, it’s English that is terrible and texting is allowing people to properly express themselves. Who knows. IDK. Whuteva. IDC. TTYL. (Hey, I can get used to that.)