(On the use of) Truncated English

My female friends and a few male colleagues have this exceptionally annoying habit. They refuse to use the words ‘I’ or ‘I am’ or ‘I shall’ or ‘I feel’ and other such uses of pronouns with this awful truncation. It is so insipid one may fall it social mediaspeak or even just mediaspeak. So often I get texts with things like ‘mucho excited for tonight xxx’ or ‘seeing you later [Antisophie]!’.

I feel this cheapens English to some infantile notion where words seem more economically used to the compromise of grammar or explicit context. The problem with such truncated expressions is that a sense of meaning or context is lost. This is particularly the case when I got a phone recently without putting in my contact numbers, or when I get called or texted or emailed by an unidentified person who I don’t yet recognise. To be told ‘seeing you later xxx’ makes me both wonder: is this a present tense usage for a future tense? Is the ‘I look forward to’ presumed or elliptical? The use of ellipsis is definately not my strong point in such expressions.

English language has a space for being colloquial but I do think it is insipid when such colloquialisms infect all levels of heirarchies. One expects persons of authority for instance to be more explicative than implicit with their language to remove any sense of ambiguity. I feel that this turn of colloquial language is moving to a context where certain things are to be assumed rather than established, like the legitimacy of saying ZOMG or the presumption of ‘I’. Sinistre said to me quite sailiently that such a turn in language is useful in the age where people shorten their views and self expressions to 140 character tweets (looking at you @noumenalrealm) or facebook posts that don’t really communicate anything partuicularly profound. This is the age of the soundbite, where punchy expressions tick and quotable people can be RT’d (that is to say, retweeted).I’m not quite sure if this is limited to British English, I do hope it is as localised as possible, and that it’s not terribly infectious.


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