This week, J transforms into a grumpy old man

As some of you might know, new words have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. This is done every year to make sure that the English language itself actually aligns with how the majority of people use the language.

I’m generally ambivalent when it comes to the addition of new words. It doesn’t bother me if the new words happen to be ones that I don’t use, because there are a buttload of words in the English language that I don’t use.

I’m sure there is even one which would have encapsulated the meaning I had in mind for my last sentence far better than “buttload,” but it’s too late now.

However, when I saw the list of new words being added this year, I did become a little perturbed. Included in the list of this year’s inductees: OMG, LOL, IMHO and even BFF.

My problem with these new “words” does not stem from the fact that I don’t use them.

Nor does it stem from the fact that I had to actually look up what IMHO stands for because I’ve never even seen it used before, never mind enough to warrant making it a new word.

My problem with these words is that they are not pronounced using the same phonetic system we apply to other words.

OMG, for example, is not pronounced like it looks, but rather more like “Oh Em Gee.”

Maybe I’ve got this all wrong. Maybe I should embrace the dumbing down of our language.

Granted, there are already many acronyms in the dictionary, at least some other such as “AIDS” have the common decency to be pronounceable.

What happens next year when the new batch of hip, new acronyms are added to the dictionary and one of them includes an “H?”

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that next year’s acronyms include the instant classic, HDW (short for “hot dog water”), as in “OMG, who the H drank all the HDW?”

The problem arises when you consider the following: what the hell is the dictionary going to write beside it as a pronunciation guide? “Aitch Dee Double You”?

I’ve got a better idea. Instead of letting 12-year-olds on Twitter dictate the boundaries of our language, why don’t we get off our asses and teach them how to speak it in the first place.

If kids these days had even an ounce of the work ethic that made our forefathers so great, then maybe they wouldn’t be too goddamn lazy to type out the words “oh my god.”

The way things have been going, we’re conforming the English language to fit the way most people misuse it, instead of actually teaching people not to misuse it in the first place.

Who knows? Maybe I’ve got this all wrong. Maybe I should embrace the dumbing down of our language.

Maybe if we all get together and try to convince as many people as possible to say “axe” instead “ask,” then we can change that too.

I axe you, would that really be that bad?

This article was dictated but not read by J. Williamez.

Published in Volume 65, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 31, 2011)

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