“I <3 Kool Shorthand” in theOctober issue made a broad generalization about the worth of internetabbreviations and emoticons. I don’t believe that shorthand iscompletely pointless - when used in moderation, it saves time, conveysemotions and adds diversity to converting speech into typed words. Ioften use “LOL” and “OMG” when someone sends mesomething funny or shocking.
Chatting online through instantmessenger or email is designed to be just like speaking out loud, exceptyou can’t hear or see each other. So “LOL” is theequivalent of laughter (as is “haha”) while“OMG” is like an amazed gasp. However, excessive use ofmade-up acronyms and faces does get obnoxious.
I applaud Ishaqfor pointing out that this is unnecessary and irritating but pleasedon’t completely dismiss internet shorthand. It’s adistinctive facet of online communication and watching it evolve can befascinating.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.