A family friend just called me to explain she needed a lesson in text messaging.
“My clients are younger people now,” she said, “and they text all the time. I need to learn how to do this.” She’s getting an iPhone. For communicators, it’s inevitable. They must adapt to all media in order to compete. As a real estate agent, she must learn to use an iPhone (Twitter, fb, and Quora too). More media, more subtleties, more opportunity.
Personally, I’ve been writing “lol” in emails and text messages. It came from my sister, who texts me all the time (and uses SMS like the rest of us use online chat), as well as the comments in reddit. Loling came unnaturally at first, but next thing I knew I used it spontaneously. It has become one with the laugh. If I’m at a keyboard, I write it while laughing. One inevitably follows the other.
We are all a little like Pavlov’s dog. Writing “haha,” laughing, and writing “lol” eventually become one. If you’re on one side of this fence, you find this habit annoying and infantile. On the other, it has become like shaking hands, a normal facet of everyday communication.
Your choice is either to adopt the “status quo,” and communicate in “English,” or communicate the way those who have adapted do. If you choose the former, then which English are you choosing? 20th century, 19th century, 10th or any in between? Why? If you choose the latter, then you know what you’re speaking actually is English. Isn’t it?