Thursday, April 13, 2006

Grunt, scratch, grunt.

This is the death of the English Language. The death of communication.

A cell phone was dropped in my office, was sitting on the floor, and I stood over it staring. My brow wrinkled. I said 'Phone.' then grunted. Like a monkey.

'Phone' louder. Nobody turned. Nobody understood. Possibly it was my lack of adjectives. Or verbs. Or sentence structure.

Perhaps... 'Excuse me, someone seems to have misplaced their cellular telephone, jolly good' would have elicited more of a response. I thought a grunted 'phone' was clear. But it did require turning to look at me and said phone.

How is it possible that my use of the language disappeared over my 30-something years? I'm sure none of us actually recall sentence diagramming, or what a passive adverb is. But why are we shortening the pleasures of conversation and communing to be a necessity or chore? Since when did BRB and ROTFL become expressions of emotion and how is texting a substitution for a lengthy hand-written letter, or an hour over coffee? Linguicide is becoming socially acceptable. Et tu Brute?

I feel slightly miffed when a friend ignores an email - much like a conversation where someone walks away while you're talking. And a returned message on voice mail is not an actual communication - it's a cop out. How are those socially acceptable in text form, but they're not in reality?

And yet I stand there hoping someone will glean the meaning from my uttered words, and not force me to convey purpose and structure in my ramblings.

Phone, dammit, 'PHONE!' Do the monkey dance. Grunt, scratch, grunt. Ooo, Ooo...phone! Do I have to spell it out?

Apparently we don't.

6 comments:

Egan said...

Aww, a woman after my own heart. I loathe all the texty abbreviations. I find them annoying and lazy. Thanks for speaking to this very subject.

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

Egan - awww. shucks. kicking dirt.

I know in reality you're just wooed with the word monkey.

Egan said...

Am I that transparent? But seriously, I have done an entire post or two on this. Those that instant message with me know this is a guideline of mine.

Anonymous said...

Gd Jb. I Ht Em 2.

Egan said...

I wondered how long it would take for you to get one of those comments.

Tracy Lynn said...

Dude, I can't even tell you how angrily I resisted the chat, in the face of " Everybody does it" blah, blah, blah, because I felt that chat-speak was a bastardization of the English language.

But then the visual of you grunting over a cell phone almost made me forget all that. In a good way, of course.