I have the kind of unfulfilling yet easy-going and genial workplace/job that apparently is enviable these days. This afternoon I was bored with having no work on, so I sat tapping the 'next blog' button that you see at the top right of your screen. There are some well-written blogs out there, some interesting designs, some valid and thought-provoking opinions. Then there are the people who shouldn't be allowed near a blunt pencil, let alone a computer.

LOL: this is not punctuation. It is not alright to break up sentences with a series of dots and unintelligible acronyms derived from LOL. It is not acceptable behaviour to insert a figure 8 where the word you should be typing ends in 'ate'. You don't see the Sunday Times Rich List referring to Lakshmi Patel as a 'steel magn8', do you? Even the little captions at the bottom of the screen on Newsround don't discuss the EU tax reb8, lol, do they?

You are typing a text message: you switch on predictive typing and type like you know what it is you're saying. You don't resort to ending a message cul8r, because to a layman, that could be referring to one who collates, and where would that leave you? At least if you're going to refer to me as u, do me the favour of capitalising me, to save me the indignity of being a vague 'uh' sound. Thanx 4 dat.

It throws me, it really does. The least likely candidates are often the ones with the greatest penchant for ridiculous abbreviations: the middle-aged who have a mobile for emergencies in the car, the ones that make a point of pronunc- and enunciation in real life... Imagine your mother lapsing into youth slang instead of her normal measured tones, innit.
I heard Stephen Fry mention recently a point about the evolution of the English language, and to some extent I understand his point: for example, apparently it's now considered acceptable to refer to something as 'book', which is what comes up when you enter 'cool' into a phone with predictive typing switched on. This is fine, you know, I'm down with the kids and all, but I don't really think it's evolution when a word is abbreviated out of recognition.

I don't know, maybe I'm out of touch. However, I don't care - if you were to actually speak in clipped digital tones, I might accept you writing like that, but until then, learn to type.

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