spelling

Nothing Compares 2 Real Words

I blame Prince. And Sinead.

A couple decades before texting ever captivated a generation, these two colluded to legitimize ridiculous abbreviations for already short words.

Instead of writing “Nothing Compares to You,” Prince penned “Nothing Compares 2 U.” And Ms. O’Connor played along with the gimmick when she recorded the song that ultimately put her on the mainstream map.

Those seeds eventually germinated into the lexicon that has crept in and degraded our language.

I’m no living language denier, but I don’t see the purpose of substituting “ur” for “your” or “l8r” for “later” or, heaven forbid, “enuf” for “enough.” These replacements are neither clever nor necessary.

If efficiency of letters were the sole goal, then we wouldn’t be saddled with stray letters inserted at the end of certain words, a la “No wayyy.”

But we are. And it’s not just those rebellious teenagers who are doing the misdeeds. Middle-aged moms and dads are adopting the texting habits of their youngsters – and it ain’t becoming.

I have slightly more patience for those common texting acronyms like “LOL,” “IDK” and “brb.” Annoying as those bad boys may be, at least they function like real acronyms, with each letter representing the first letter of the corresponding words.

But the intentional dropping of letters or substitution of numbers for letters…not cool.

A notable exception to my hard line against compressed words is my affinity for using “U2″ as a replacement for “you too.” It’s just too irresistible and reminds me of an obscure band from Dublin. Besides it’s not actually a misspelling.

In fact, spelling is one of those rare notions that I take very seriously. Like God. And Chipotle chicken burritos with black beans.

Which, incidentally, both go quite nicely with some good old-fashioned Prince: