Sups Presh: Abbreviated Attention
An increasingly common situation has been hitting our country, which has caused confusion and controversy. This occurrence, known as abbreviations or “abbreves,” has taken a firm hold on our captive, young pop culture generation.
I bore witness to this strange, new phenomenon while watching a commercial for a show on MTV in which a young and possibly inebriated man attempted to explain a vernacular based on abbreviated words. He slurred through his elucidation of the meaning of “dece” and “obvi” as merely shortened expressions of “decent” and “obvious.”
I admit that I was perplexed and somewhat disturbed that someone had put serious thought into the bastardization of the English language until I saw the inherent beauty of such a dynamic and efficient method of speech. Butchering English is unquestionably necessary in regards to the times and standards that we are compelled to live by in today’s world.
Abbreves stand alongside the category of people who gouge an eye out applying mascara while driving at breakneck speed, for those who overheat their Pop Tarts in the microwave and yelp as they grab the blistering hot pastry in a mad sprint toward the door. It is for those of us who squeeze through rows in lecture hall with one hand held out to steady themselves while another gingerly balances a bowl of milk and cereal out of harm’s way as it menacingly sloshes about, and threatens to splatter into the hair and laps of groggy and distempered fellow students.
In simpler terms, abbreviations were created as a reaction to the desperate need to save time. Why else would people put a conscious effort into cutting essential morphemic syllables off words? Why would people dedicate Facebook groups to the dictionary of abbreves? Is it because it’s “trendy” or “cool?” Absolutely not.
Not only does it discredit a speaker and present him as tragically incoherent, it confounds people well-versed in the English language and requires an impressive feat of mental gymnastics to hear and translate a gibberish phrase into intelligent conversation. But when we’re talking about getting back those two minutes that you could spend Facebook chatting with someone you don’t like, you must employ every possible tactic to earn that quality time for yourself.
The population, specifically tweens and adolescents, have recognized that syllables require seconds of time that just can’t afford be wasted on something as trivial as “talking” or “listening.” We as a generation need to allocate as much time as possible toward our Blackberries, Tweets and such, even at the small cost of intimate and intelligent conversation. But why stop at abbreves with friends? Save yourself an extra 30 seconds when you cut down conversation with your sweet, ailing grandmother. Tell her she’s abs adore, but you’ve got biz to attend to, and hang up on her flabbergasted silence. Holmes, in this modern fast-paced naysh, you better keep up or the presh may evench crush you into a sad, peep less obliv.
And to those of you who doth protest such a defiling of the lang upon which the entire history, pride and culture of a people has been built upon, I tell you nay. Better yet, I tell you “whatevs.” You know, it might be true that the English language spans across human existence as one of many sacred vessels by which our forbearers crafted culture and the true testament of courage against sometimes despairing odds. But come on, that doesn’t mean that we, as the children of our ancestors, have to use or understand diction or as they once did. Why would we ever feel obligated to appreciate or even begin to comprehend the magnitude of power and meaning that resides within language and how it evokes in us, hundreds of years later, the same ability to feel?
Forget that communication ties humanity together along a common thread of empathy, forget the ability to sense your pulse rising and falling to the immortalized rhythm to which someone else once moved their pen on paper. Pay no mind to the painstaking writings of our ancestors, the value and timelessness of any heritage or language, and the centuries of communication available to them so that we may love and live as they did. Fight on, abbreve soldiers, and show the pub that you can fight for the potench of your brill new lang and do not stop until you have captured the attench of our naysh and thrown it into the light of a glorious new day.