Each generation has its own unique way of speaking that is mocked by future generations, and we have some bad potential news for Generation Y (which we refer to as “Generation LOL” in this article, even though we know the Gen Y way of communicating has spread to a lesser degree to other generations who may LOL but probably don’t have BFF’s). As new voice-recognition technology, such as that used by Apple’s Siri becomes more common place, there will be no reason to continue destroying the English language with texted and Tweeted sentences like:
“Did I c u at the @JeffFoxworthy show? Was that u he made fun of on stage LOL! #YouKnowYoureARedNeckWhenYourObstructedViewSeatsAreObstructedByMoonshineVats #LOL ;)”
Will a change in technology that results in people dictating actual sentences in legitimate English eliminate the need to use all kinds of internet acronyms and emoticons? We hope so. Feel free to debate counterpoints on the message board below, using your favorite internet acronyms. If we are right, for Generation LOL, don’t worry if your future grandchildren find the way you write and talk funny compared to the robots. Like anything, it could be worse, so here are:
3 Worse Ways New Technology Could Screw Up Language In Every Day Life
1. It could make the name of your business obsolete. Remember the days when people used the Yellow Book to find businesses? Smart entrepreneurs knew they could name their businesses things like AAAAAAAAAAAAA-1 Aardvark Australian Airlines and wind up first in the phone book. Less smart entrepreneurs had less success with their businesses named ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Zoompads (formerly Mattress Depot). Now Google and mobile applications like Yelp make this sort of business naming obsolete, as businesses either have to pay for top listings or hope for good word of mouth to wind up at the top of these search lists. The good news is that businesses can try to game the new system, by naming their businesses after popular search terms, and when they do, we fully expect Does-Justin-Bieber-Have-A-Girlfriend-Airlines to take off!
2. Since voice recognition has not been perfected, you could inadvertently send out the wrong messages. Nothing’s worse than when an attempted message promising that new love interest from your engineering school “I’ll call you a bit later” turns into “I’ll kill you with lasers!” Always double check what you actually sent, laser engineers! As the laser-engineering field is a tough job market, with the largest employer being Muse for their concerts, you can’t afford to make these kind of mistakes that could land you in trouble with the law!
3. Depending on what language you speak, the number of characters in a word or text can convey more information in text messages and on Twitter. Texts have a 160 character limit, and Tweets have a maximum limit of 140 characters. Here is an example of an attempt of a warning with too many characters for Twitter in British English:
Congratulations 4 being named 2 the dressage Olympic team! Beware of the grey-coloured French horse, because rumour has it he kicks opponents!
The above noted passage, despite using numbers twice instead of words, still has two too many characters, at 142, to be used on Twitter, leading to potential catastrophe for your British friend, when your Tweet is rejected and your friend is kicked in his silver medal by the gold medal winning horse-and-rider combination before you can edit it down. The same message in American English causes no problems, meeting the 140 character Tweet limit!
Congratulations 4 being named 2 the dressage Olympic team! Beware of the gray-colored French horse, because rumor has it he kicks opponents!
Americans have a massive advantage in helping friends avoid dressage horse kicks, perfectly fitting into the 140 character limit! But that’s nothing compared to the Japanese, where the entire American-English language Tweet could be condensed to 71 characters, according to Babelfish (our advance apologies to our faithful Japanese readers if Babelfish’s translation is not perfect!)
馬術オリンピック チームに任命された、おめでとうございます ！グレー色のフランスの馬の注意は、噂がそれを持っているので彼の対戦相手をキック !
According to Twitter, that leaves enough characters to warn your friend about two horses, including the bay horse that bites opponents, which is arguably as bad as kicking in a civilized-appearing dressage competition!
We hope nobody gets kicked or bitten during this summer’s Olympiad and wish luck to all of the human and animal Olympians from around the world! We just completed our own comedic Olympiad of at least one article per day on this site in the month of July! Check back tomorrow to see if we continue the streak into August!