No doubt the following will make Lynn Truss of Eats, Shoots & Leaves fame grab a handful of blood pressure pills, but duty calls:
If you can read all of the above message, you have already taken a few steps into tomorrow’s brave new world. If not, let me help you.
Hat’s off to Writer’s Write for the lead to Lingo2Lingo.com, a site that is dedicated to helping the non-afflicted generation understand the warp and woof of the text message world, otherwise known as popular lingo.
Lingo2Lingo wants to help you learn the new Internet shorthand. They’ve even included a nifty translator tool, one I used to translate my poor old prose into snappy Internet dialogue. The site also has a dictionary of emoticons and smileys for those of you who feel your writing just can’t deliver that emotional punch or for those who fear the accuracy of your feelings behind the words might not be understood. Feeling creatively drained? Click to the archive for a list of funny, rude and even crude messages to send to family and friends. Already on the cutting edge of popular linguistics? Then you probably have a funny or interesting text message story to share on the Fun Txt Msg page. Adept at text messaging? Go to the Add a Lingo page to submit your contribution to the new language. Be warned: spelling and capitalization are still important, even in this new-lingo world. You may end up saying something very different than you intend.
And if, by chance, you are still trying to figure out the title to today’s post, try “Are you literate?” If you’re not sure where you rank on the literacy scale, stop by Lingo2Lingo’s Sixty Second Challenge and test your skills–after you’ve spent time perusing the rest of this blog, of course.
What, you may ask, does all this have to do with writing? Well, if you plan to work with contemporary characters, particularly those of the younger mindset, a working knowledge of txt messaging is important. Think of the complications and resulting conflict that could arise from a simple message. . . the rest is up to you.
(Note: See July 31 post for review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and click on the book cover under “Today” on the right column for a direct link to the book at Amazon.com.)