Old Man Texting

I know I'm not that old, I'm just 43 (Or at least I think so. Last year I told everyone I was 43 when, in fact, I wasn't. Seriously, I was confused on that point for a whole year.) But when I text I feel old. Here's why:

I just can't help but text in fully grammatical sentences with proper capitalization and punctuation. I never type something like this:

how r u?
I'd text it like this:
How are you doing?
This has to be a generational thing. Although my mother, who I know to be, as a biological fact, older than me, seems to have jumped right in with her grandkids with the texting abbreviations.

So maybe it's an academic snob thing. But whatever the case may be, I take enormous amounts of time texting proper English sentences. Seriously, I actually go back and correct capitalization. On texts! Which is freaking insane.

Anyone else got this compulsion? I need a support group.

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14 thoughts on “Old Man Texting”

  1. Yeah, it's that OCD thing I'm talking about. I think it's fine for people to use the abbreviations. It's the norm of course. I'm mainly just trying to analyze my own quirks.

  2. At age 54, I am loath to abbreviate or use acronyms when I text message. This disinclination of mine is relatively harmless and in some cases, mildly amusing to the recipients of my text tomes but live chatting is another matter all together.

    If I am on Facebook and somebody pops up on that chatty thing, I panic. Live chatting requires an abbreviated method of communicating that I am simply incapable of so it's only a matter of time before the person trying to chat with me is asking if I'm still there or mad or... And don't get me started on those happy faces.


  3. There was a time when I resisted the texting abbreviations. Eventually I determined that my reticence was unwarranted. I have no problems switching between academic and popular writing/speaking when the context demands. I must be ready and willing to adapt my communication style to its appropriate context.

    The world of texting/twitter has become its own established genre with a set of writing standards, albeit fairly fluid ones. For that reason, I have decided not to worry about conforming...but I refuse to be okay with people SAYING "lol" or "jk."

  4. I am with you; cannot text in anything but the most complete of sentences. I explained this to my graduate class recently, and they thought it quite odd. It reminds me of the difference in movie dialogue today versus, say, the 30's. A screen writer from that era probably could not recognize what a movie character is saying today.

  5. I'm 78 years old, have a "Secretarial Training" BS degree from ACC (now known as ACU) and burned those manual typewriters up with my typing speed...then came electric...even faster...and computer keyboards were even faster. Now I literally "hunt and peck" to send texts. I find it creative to think of ways to shorten my words, and I think it goes back to 4 semesters of learning shorthand. I've learned some things challenge us, some things are fun to learn but it's wonderful to be able to write grandchildren and KNOW they will immediately respond, maybe with one letter, such as "k".

  6. Nope, I don't share that compulsion, Richard!

    Full grammar in a text message is such a waste of time! Text messaging and tweeting is a unique phenomenon so it needs a unique language, even if it's annoying as hell! Of course it has its own place and time - have you actually heard someone say "Lol" or "W-T-F?" our loud? I have. *shudder* Now that's something to freak out about.

    Your aversion to texting language might not have much to do with your age or academic background (my friends from your generation have no problem with it). You could just be... too nostalgic ;)

    P.S That up there is a little wink! -Mezz

  7. I'm the same; I'm 26. My mother and younger brother text in text language (though my mother does it badly). It's definitely a snob thing.

  8. I brought up this blog post to some friends yesterday and discovered that... the friends of mine who use full grammar in their texts all have iPhones (which has options for "auto-correct" on spelling and grammar as well as the QWERTY keyboard). The friends who use abbreviated text language have Ericssons, Samsungs etc.. with usually a 150 character limit for each message before they get charged the cost for an extra message if they go past the limit!

    So it all comes down to convenience. All the proper grammar users were actually iPhone snobs rather than academic snobs!

  9. Guilty here too!!!!
    I have gone back to redo capitals and likewise realised how hideously inappropriate this was given the context.

    I am slowly getting on board with the abbreviations and, to be honest, it's bringing me a sense of liberation in this regard.

    Like a lot of issues, its symbolic and symptomatic of other areas of life isn't it?

    The pedantic, pompous, irrelevantly-exact theologian writing all-too-precise-texts!!! Quelle surprise!!!

    I wish you well in your quest for freedom... (please wish me well too...)


  10. Needed to add that the, "Pedantic, pompous, irrelevantly-exact theologian..." was a reference to me, not to you!!!! lol... :)

  11. 23 here. I text in proper English and so do all my friends. Honestly, my experience has been that only tweens and parents trying too hard to be cool text with the abbreviations.

  12. Just saying - I think that texting complete sentences with spelled-out words is becoming much more the norm, now that most phones have full keyboards. The super-shortened slang definitely had a lot to do with 1) character limits and 2) having to type with a traditional phone.

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