People who know me will vouch for the fact that I loath the use of abbreviated text language when it’s not being used on a mobile phone or within an instant message. However, is it just me that is has started to pick up on the whole shortening and abbreviations of our spoken words as well?
We have always had TLA’s (three-letter abbreviations) and other acronyms in and around our daily which I have no problems with because least these abbreviations or acronyms are started and finished in the context of a conversation. My problems are around the way in which we (and I am not just talking of our younger generation here) have started to shorten their sentences and leave the listeners to fill in the blanks.
Take the new phrase which has crept into society, “end of“. In my day, in order to bring a conversation or point to a conclusion, we would say, “End of story!” However, in our brave new “don’t have enough time for anything” world, this phrase is now shortened to simply, “End of…” with you being asked to fill in or presume the final work is ‘story’.
Similarly, the same principles are applied is to the phrases, “As simple as…” Now this phrase always had the ability to have a subjective ending, leaving the presenter to fill in that the “simple” was, but in general it was the conclusion to an explanation that has previous been given thus, “it’s as simple as that.” (The ‘that’ having been already explained).
But this has once again been changed for you to fill in your own blank, because again we are faced with the whole abbreviated “can’t be bothered finishing this sentence” attitude. However, in this case the “simple as” is actually used in the same context and effectively means the same as “end of“.
The same process is applied to “as if…” – as an example it could be put, “as if you would ever hear me saying something like that?” This is simply abbreviated to, “…as if!”
I may be getting slightly harsh with this one as it could be I am completely misinterpreting the whole process of communication here. It could be that as our language and verbal communication skills have improved over generations and have taken us to a point where we are actually backward-engineering our language and starting to reduce the amount we speak. Although to be honest, I have to say that I am not convinced on this one and believe it is more about a verbal laziness than anything else.
So as you listen to people’s conversations with you, be aware as to whether they have time to speak to you or not and watch out for this new concept in sentence shortening. And go easy on them because remember, the dropping of a word here and there can actually save them so much time over the course of a full conversation – they may have an important appointment to be at and saving those few words will get them there earlier.
So on this topic there’s not much more to say it’s simple as….end of!