It made me laugh but my friend hunched their shoulders and said, “I hope OMG is added to this year’s list of banned words.”
I admit I had never heard of the list before and was intrigued to see that it’s been around for a few years, with 24/7″ (2000), “it is what it is” (2008), “happy camper” (1993), “LOL” (2004) and “state of the art” (1993) all making the list in years past.
This year, “tweet,” “shovel ready” and “czar” are on the list.
My friend’s reaction reminded me of the first time I heard someone dismiss Twitter as the “end of language.”
Working in the English department of New York University, I am constantly meeting people who dismiss new technologies as bad for the English language and who expect me to share their opinion.
I do not.
Since the development of blogs, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites, I have seen my students writing more often than ever before. Oh sure, it might just be a line about what they’re doing at that moment but they are writing.
Also, having to stick to a predetermined number of characters has forced them to write with an economy that serves their longer pieces well. For the first time they write what they mean.
There will always be good writers and bad writers working in any and all of the mediums available to us. For every pithy Twitter post I have read, I have seen a dozen terrible books. And vice-versa.
I don’t care if it takes a Kindle to get you reading or a blank 140-character box to get you writing, as long as you do.
Good luck and happy writing.