The new issue of our dearest Mother Magazine, The Blue and White, is out on campus now! Find it in the Lerner racks, Butler, Hamilton, or in your dorm’s lounge! To celebrate, we’re posting this month’s ATSL from staff writer Virginia Fu, CC ’17, and senior editor Naomi Sharp, CC ’15, searching for the answer to Bwog’s favorite question: Do you abbrev?
Affirmative by Virginia Fu, CC ’17
Yes, I abbreviate! So wut?
Not only is abbreviating something I do and something I think I am totally definitely allowed 2 do, it is something that people already always do anyway and should do, everybody, in this modern age, the age in which we live, which is the second decade of the twenty-first century. Because some words are long, with many letters, some or most or all of which are usually redundant or un-ness. I’m talking about words like “prescriptivist,” “fascist,” and “oppression.”
Or else they sound like or have parts that sound like the names of letters or #s. Odd words, like “are” or “tulip.”
In the modern age, the twenty-first century, “ily” is a goddamn perfectly acceptable way 2 convey 2 u the feeling i got walking down Broadway that morning when the blinking red light made me think of that red scarf u always wear, and the smell of the *bcks made me think of ur disdain for effcnt systems of allocating desirable goods, and the regular occurrence of lines on the sidewalk made me think of the biweekly emails u send me, and, stopping 2 fumble out my phone, i tripped over my shoes, abbreviating the feeling, like my text was an abbreviation of that feeling, which needed to be abbreviated because it was like a word 2 weird and impossible 2 spell, like “axolotl.”
And aren’t we always abbreviating something when we try 2 say the things in our heads 2 people? Isn’t all communication a distillation of amorphous infinitudes into this patter of sounds, shapes, gestures that make language?
So I don’t understand why you act like something gets lost or hurt when I abbreve. Abbreving is abt getting to the heart of things. It’s abt knowing what to keep. Like, the first letters of words are important. Most consonants. Amper-sands. The red properties in Monopoly. Your well-worn copy of the Iliad. Your grandmother’s last words to the Starbucks barista. Your belief in the Omicron. Nothing gets lost if you know when to stop.
In the robot future our thought paths will mrge instantaneously, like a microwave that comes from nowhere and everywhere and xplodes the quantum popcorn in our heads but not the quantum popcorn in other pple’s heads. Except in the robot future we won’t have heads because we won’t need them anymore. There will also be no bodies or language but everything will be slghtly magnetized.
And I don’t understand what you mean when you tell me I shouldn’t abbreviate things because i am destroying the English language as if the language were fragile and liable 2 be damaged when its consonants were all mushed together, like when the veggies all exploded in the microwave. But words are more like animals, the kind that can’t be squished, things that grow and blink and change into other, better things, like how food turns into compact, concise poop.
The quick way isn’t always the wrong way! The words get shortr as the feeling gets bigger!
Abbreviation is progress. It’s educational, moral, necessary, and gr8. And now the negative…