Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Utter Rubbish

Yesterday my mum and I were watching TV when suddenly my mum commented on the text messages that were running across the bottom of the screen. I was jolted back to reality when she asked me about this new form of communication. My mum, despite her age, is one inquisitive lady. Apparently, she was more fascinated by these short and scanty abbreviated messages than the actual program that was being shown. I was about to begin my explanation when she decided to conclude that these were "subtitles"  in a foreign language!! Well, Ma, you are one observant lady, I have to admit.

I decided not to elaborate on the subject having sensed that my mum was satisfied with her own deduction but it kept my brain active for quite a while. Honestly, I am NOT a fan of these sketchy, unintelligible abbreviations which have made their impact on the communication scene. They are  widely accepted and gaining popularity not only among the younger genaration but also those in my age group. Kudos to all those in my age group who have acquired the skill through sheer patience to learn (or is it "unlearn") this new spelling technique.

Well, I am still a firm believer in the conventional style of writing everything in full, properly and intelligently when sending text messages through the mobile phones or Facebook or Blogs or Twitter or whatever. It takes a bit of time and patience to write everything in full but that way, I will never be misunderstood. Besides, I don't believe in making others suffer by trying to decipher my meaning. Incidentally, my husband who is few years my senior, has adapted well to this new trend. He often tells me that these days people are not willing to spend time reading lengthy messages which can be shortened. I am still not ready to change - not at the expense of destroying the beauty of words spelt properly and correctly.

By the way, my mum made her observation while watching a Malay programme. The "subtitles" were text messages in Bahasa Melayu. I think they are more disastrous than their English counterpart. I notice that these people text the way they talk. Not only do they slash off the spelling, they also slash the original number of  syllables to the word! So, what are we left with - UTTER RUBBISH!!! I am not about to condone such treacherous behaviour.

What puzzles me is the silence and indifference on the part of the relevant authourities to control the invasion of this communicating style. It is quite forgiveable if the messages are for individual consumption but certainly not for public viewing. Where are all those who made so much noise and gave a lot of reasons for calling off PPSMI? These people who felt that PPSMI would kill off a student's interest in Maths and Science and were willing to stage demonstrations to make their cause heard. WHERE ARE THEY NOW? I think, these short abbreviated text are more destructive and detrimental to the national language than PPSMI. Why are there no demonstrations to curb the widespread of this impending threat to the national language? Is it because this is of  no political interest to them?? Please give me  a logical and acceptable answer.

My husband constantly reminds me "If you can't fight them, you join them". Well, I am not about to concede defeat. I am not in the least bit smitten by this literary madness, no matter how fashionable it may appear to some people. Call me old-fashioned, conservative, whatever, I will always do it MY WAY.


  1. dear Siti,

    ,,,my friends says that i write too bloody lenghty for them to read !.Well guess, we were trained the proper way !!. Nothing like getting it right 1st time all the time. hahaha !.
    ..."perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time"

    ,,,and to your dear hubby, tell him.."by perseverance even the snail reached the Ark", indeed no road is too bloody long to the man who advances deliberately without undue haste, and no honours are too distance for the man who prepares himself for them with patience.

  2. Siti,

    ,,,typo "lengthy" hahaha !

    ,,,Guess we, kind of the older malaysian generation, still acknowledge and celebrate our ties to British education and British institutions not out of sentimentality but out of an understanding that these are foundational influences that have had much to do with stability and competitiveness as a nation.
    ,,,British educational, administrative, legal and cultural institutions continue to be of vital importance to us as Malaysians.
    ,,,We still need to reaffirm these links without political blinkers, understand their cultural, political and economic importance to us, and build on them.
    ,,,One result of such a change of attitude should be a rethinking of our attitude to the English language. By now it is also a Malaysian language. It would be sheer hypocrisy to deny its value and centrality to us as Malaysians.
    ,,,Do we continue to deny in political rhetoric what we practice in reality, or do we grasp the situation and come up with better policies for the teaching and adoption of the language?. My question to the ruling elites ??..THINK !

    ,,,Rather than indulge in grand schemes of cultural “import substitution” we should appreciate the extent of these influences and links and explore ways to develop them further.

    ,,,indeed we need to HOTWIRE some heads in PUTRAJAYA too !. Please use your head-lah.

    i rest my case.

  3. Well said, Capt.,well said! Glad to learn that I am not alone practising the old style of writing everything in full. We may be old fashioned but I think we are in a league of our own. We have class, right Capt?