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Just shut up about LOL

I advised you recently then when you read about someone complaining about the "dumbing-down" of English, just stop reading. That was incomplete advice.

The next time you see someone complaining that the Young People are destroying the language with text-speak, stop reading. Close the page. Do not read further. You would be encouraging a fool to proceed. 

Fads come and go, but the language endures. The Young People embrace slang, and when older people discover it, they drop it. Why are the Young People fleeing Facebook? Because their parents are on it. 

Let me give you an example. In the 1970s, there was a vogue for citizens band radio. Everyone was echoing CB lingo, "Breaker, breaker, good buddy." It had an extensive vocabulary. Books were published on CB slang. My parents installed a CB radio, to eavesdrop as they previously did on the party line. Today, to the extent that it survives at all, it has subsided into a minority group of users.

Just so with "OMG" and "LOL" and all the rest of the vocabulary of text-speak. It will flower for its little time in the sun, and then what remains useful for speakers of the language will stick, and the rest will be immured in those recesses consulted by antiquarians of the language.

You don't like it? Don't use it. Grit your teeth and wait for it to pass, like the slang of your youth. Nothing bold can stay.  


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