…and then some

Things That Shouldn’t Be (Etiquette of Online Chat)

My recent participation in the MySpace apps has brought me into contact with chat sessions that have awakened some of my grammatical and chat-etiquette awareness pet peeves. Let me go over just a few.


While chatting online, I’ve noticed a lot of people use the term “wat” in place of “what”.  An isolated occurrence would probably be brushed off as a typo, however people use this term consistently.  I’ve thought about this and even after asking someone I really don’t know why this blatantly erroneous spelling disaster occurs.  Here are some possibilities:

  1. They don’t know how to properly spell “what”
  2. They are trying to “save time” or are too lazy to include the “h” when typing the word
  3. They think that’s just how cool people talk on the internet

There was a fourth possibility I had in mind, but I forgot what it was.


Imagine going into a starbucks to perhaps enjoy a drink and a relaxing game of cards with a few friends.  You’re obviously not the only ones there, and the droning chatter of other customers is expected and accepted.  Now imagine if at least one person in the room loudly yelled everything they were saying.  Unless you’re deaf, it would probably be annoying and be seen as very immature.

Well, online, even being deaf can’t save you from the CapsLock abusers.  When playing poker palace, going from table to table is fairly common.  I’ve found that at many tables, there is at least one person who finds it necessary to use all caps when they talk.  More often than not, their name is also in all caps.  Some have told me that’s just what they do.  Frankly i don’t find that an acceptable answer.  A better answer would be “my keyboard doesn’t work properly and until I get a new one this is the best I can do”.  I would accept that.  Heck, I’ll even take “I’m just an idiot and I want to make sure everybody here knows that”.

Kids, typing in all caps all the time is NOT cool.  It’s NOT impressive, and it sure as sandwiches is NOT intimidating.

Your and You’re

This one really gets me… it’s probably the most common mistake I see on the internet… well, maybe not, but it’s definitely up there.  The amount of people that use your in place of you’re is so significant that it’s a wonder these people know how to type at all…

…before I continue, allow me to share my disclaimer.  I have friends who do this.  Close friends.  Heck even my girlfriend does this.  It is apparent to me that it’s simply one of those things… whatever “those things” may be.  The point is, I am not pointing any fingers, nor am I even belittling the intelligence of any specific person that makes this mistake.  I know very intelligent people that still fall into this category.  My issue is how extremely common it is.

Back to what I was saying.  Sometimes a misused your can even be a little amusing.  A good example of this is when I say something that someone doesn’t like and their response is “your stupid”.  Someone once told me “your an idiot”.  In cases like these I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, because it’s both comical and depressing, much like watching a clown die…  well no that’s just comical.


There are many other things that I’ve noticed while exploring the wonderful, wild internet that both amaze and shock me.  These were only a few.  You may think I’m far too picky.  You might be wondering what kind of grammar tree grew up my butt and made me such a stickler for such things.  If this is your train of thought, then maybe you’re on the wrong train.

I find education important… at least basic education, and I don’t think this country puts enough emphasis on educating its people.  Either we’re lazy or we don’t want to offend others by correcting them when they’re wrong.  Look at the word ain’t, for example.  Ever since I was a very young boy growing up in school, children who used the word ain’t were commonly responded to with the vaguely recursive phrase was “Ain’t ain’t a word“.  Years later, now in my adult years, I have noticed that society and education has given up on attempting to teach the word ain’t out of our generation’s vocabulary and has instead decided to add it to the official English dictionary.  I guess the reasoning there must have been “if we can’t get rid of the wrong, just make it a right”.  It was a bold, liberal move, and though virtually harmless in itself, was very foolish.

These cases of turning wrongs into acceptable rights didn’t stop with language and the dictionary.  You see it in society everywhere.


One response

  1. You used to set your font in IM to a large size. Is that any different than all caps?

    I’ve seen “prolly” in place of “probably” too many times from more than one person. That really gets my teeth grinding.

    October 27, 2008 at 7:31 am

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