PG's Tips for Survival at the RHN

SIDNEY CONFRONTS ABBREVIATIONS
or Changes to the English language as she is spoken.

'I am fed up with the corruption of the language,' moaned Sidney in one of his self-righteous moods. 'I cannot stand the way in which it is all cut short - up with which I will not put!'

Well if that isn't a load of pompous twaddle, I don't know what is. By using the common abbreviations of 'isn't', or 'don't', Sidney was in danger of breaking his own rules. So to what did he really object?

It is all a matter of taste, Sidney decided. What particularly 'got on his goat' was people's obsession with text messaging. Here is an example: 'Know that u got my 1st msg It's a bit hit/miss This msg ddn't get thru 1st time Am ltd 2 130 chrctrs No rm 2waffl Chllngng Gd2cu'! Ifucan mke sens of that, u'll b 'a man before my mother after all'.

This reminded Sidney of a joke, entitled 'Eurospeak', which read thus:
'Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EC after much opposition from the Belgians, the European Parliament has commissioned a feasibility study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments.
European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult - for example: cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomalies. The programme would, of course, be administered by a committee staff at top level by participating nations... thus replacing the soft 'c' with 's'; the hard 'c' with 'k'; 'ph' with 'f'; removal of double leters and silent 'e's; 'th' with 'z'; 'ou' with 'o' and finally 'w' with 'z'. It ends with this utterly confusing paragraph!
'Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli hav a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of the Guvermnt vud finali hav kum tru.'

It all seems perfectly reasonable, when you think about it. Come back Esperanto - all is forgiven!


Written by Peter Gow
February 2003

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