I'm going to court controversy. O Rly? Yup. Text speak. I cannot abide it. It is beyond irksome, it reaches inside me and tweaks my inner teacher, I think. Reading it is enough to send me screaming from the room. I don't use txt-spk when I text, so the last thing I want to do is read it elsewhere, dressed up as "elite". Now, however, the insidious l33t spk has crept where it should never have dared venture. It's being used to promote grammar and spelling rules, as in "ib4e". Can you spell 1r0ny? It's also been deemed acceptable in exam conditions.
Can you imagine?? Romeo and Juliet, Act Two, Scene Two:
'Bt, s0ft! wh4t l1ght thru y0nd3r w1nd0w br34kz?
1t 1z th3 34st, & Jul13t 1z th3 sun.
4r1s3, f41r sun, & k1ll th3 3nv10us m00n,
Wh0 1z 4lr34dy s1ck & p4l3 w1th gr13f,
Th4t th0u h3r m41d 4rt f4r m0r3 f41r th4n sh3.'
And you thought Chaucer was nigh incomprehensible.
I don't even understand most of the l33t rules. Why does the number one replace exclamation marks? How is pwned pronounced "owned"? Why exactly does a barbecue denote shock? Why is misspelling one of 'teh' most common words in 'teh' language kewl? Why is rAndoM caPitalisAtion seen as anything other than really aNnOyInG (and time consuming)? Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with acronyms "lol", and I have a peculiar fondness for emoticons. I'm not the world's most accurate speller, and my grammar is best ignored. But at least you don't need the Enigma to decipher my posts.
And please don't tell me that txt spk is necessary to shorten words, not when some l33t spellings are longer and more complicated than their English equivalents? It takes far longer, surely, to think of the different spellings than to just type the word out? Longer by far to type "OMFG D00d U R t3h UBER 1337 R0XX0RZ" rather than just "Heh, nice one". There are movements elsewhere on the web to "Save Our Vowels". They are becoming endangered, strangled by a culture of laziness.Texts are no longer hampered by length restrictions, so come on ppl! SAVE OUR VOWELS!