Monday, September 08, 2008

Speak English


Really, don't we all get tired of 'txt spk' on blogs and forums? I'm a big advocate of boycotting text speak except on my cellphone, because it's so hard to read and understand. I've been ranting about that for a long time now, and to my dismay, it's gotten worse.

I even made a comment about it on Yahoo Answers, and to my surprise, my answer was picked as the best one!

Is it ok to use smileys and text lingo like "tnx" in a thank you letter after an interview?

Despite the evolution of text speak and it's adaptation to our daily conversations, I'd say it's much better to stick with what's the traditional and formal format of writing. Many of those who'll be doing the hiring may come from the old school of thought, and may be sticklers for correct grammar and usage. Personally, when I come across anything that's written in text speak (be it a blog or a letter sent by a friend), I usually pass it over. It's actually a pain to read. Plus, getting used to this kind of writing may even deteriorate your skills, and in the long run, that won't be good for you. Bottom line, when it comes to writing, stick with what was taught to you in school and what is generally accepted. Leave the text speak to your cellphones.

We're proud of the fact that our country considers English as a second language, but with the way a lot of people use text lingo to write, I'm beginning to wonder if it still holds true. Ten years ago, when text messaging wasn't even around, my grandfather was already deploring the way a lot of his students speak and write English. I wonder now what is he going to say?



  1. I feel you girl. In fact, I also pass on those blogs that have txt spk as their form of writing. It's not that I hate it, but like you, my head hurts when I have to decipher what he/she meant whenever I read them. Unfortunately, with text messaging becoming one of the best forms of communication in the Philippines, and children-teens-adults not spending time reading books, our English is definitely taking a turn of the worst!

    Should I be proud when an American told me that I speak good English? His words were "How long have been in America? Two months?! Wow, you speak good English!" I didn't know how to answer him then. I just told him that Filipinos speak good English and he said "I know a lot of Filipinos but they don't speak as well as you do." I know he's not talking about Filipinos born and raised in the US but the new immigrants. Should I be proud of myself? Perhaps. But what I really felt was shame. I know a lot of Filipinos who aren't speaking English as well as they should even if they are professionals at that.

    It's even worse when someone asks me if I speak English. My mom's co-workers keep on asking her that and she directs then to my blogs as proof that I can speak and I can write good English.

    Is there a movement to ban txt spk? I am up for it!

    I apologize for making a long comment Kat but you I am passionate about this cause! :)

  2. Haha, no worries about the long comment! In fact, it's most welcome!

    I don't know if I'm just mayabang when it comes to the English language. Being a former tech support agent, I've gotten a lot of comments from clients and various team managers that I'm very good in speaking English. The American clients often express disbelief that I've never been out of the country.

    I guess it helps how our parents raised us or to what advantages we were exposed to while growing up. Still, anyone can improve themselves if they really want to. I think that many people nowadays are just too comfortable with where they are to do that.

    A few friends of mine are complaining about the way their officemates communicate in English: Deplorable. Yesterday I overheard a few students conversing in English when one girl suddenly said, "Can I make singit the line?" Ay sus! I wanted to hit her.

    Haha, if a foreigner will ask me, "Do you speak English?" I'll reply, "Yes I do. How about you?" Hehe.

  3. Aw, I was a neophyte then Kat! :) Some of them still look at me like I'm an alien or something just because I speak English well.

    I guess it all boils down to how you were raised. I hate to be mayabang but the first language I learned was English. I didn't know how to speak our local dialect Bisaya until about 4 or 5 when I already had playmates. That aside, I love to read and watch movies and I did improve myself. However, if you simply read and don't practice, you can't improve as well. A few of my classmates speak really well, too.

    BTW, I loathe the new slang popping up this days e.g. "Where na you?" Ahhh I just want to scream when I hear it! Although we Sillimanians are fond of halo halo speaking (combining Bisaya and English in one sentence), I can speak straight English. So I think I'm good.. :)

    BTW, have you been to She's Pinay and raised in NYC but her clips are so funny especially when she imitates members of her family :)