Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh No! IMS in EMAIL!

For the second time in as many weeks, I've received an email in Instant Messaging Shorthand, along the lines of "Met u @ ___...Thx 4 ur help!" If you text-message or IM, you get it right away. If you don't, it takes a while to puzzle out the code. I don't -- life comes at me fast enough without IM, you know? -- and let me tell you, it took way too long to unravel the messages.

As it turned out, one of the senders is disabled -- a legitimate excuse. The other one, though, is able-bodied. Now I don't want to go and get all prim and proper and stickler-teacher-like, but really now.

Here's the thing. If you speak French and English, and you know I speak English but you don't know if I speak French, you wouldn't send me an email in French, would you? It's no different with IM. If you and your friends IM all the time, then it's cool to send emails in IMS. But if you and I have never IM'ed -- and trust me, we haven't -- then you'd email me in plain English, right? Right? One can only hope.

Here's the other thing: both emails were professional in content. Need I comment further? I think not.

Maybe my attitude needs adjusting here. It usually does, here and there. But my mother used to say something that I think applies but sounds so antiquated now: "It's just common courtesy, that's all it is!" (Yes, she was Southern -- can't you just hear that in a Georgia accent?) I think of it when I read the snippy response "That's what the delete button is for!" whenever someone suggests that maybe, just maybe, the story that the sender thought was so bloody cute didn’t need to be sent to everyone in their address book. Maybe, just maybe, the sender could have taken the time to select only those recipients who wouldn't mind getting that bloody cute story.

Even though it's faster for some people to write emails in IMS, should they take the time to write in standard English so the recipient won't have to spend time translating, especially when the recipient is me? Yes? No?

So…WDYT? B4 u reply, u shd know that I really, honestly, truly don't IM. I'm just doing what I can to keep the language honest…one email at a time.

1 comment:

John Michael De Marco said...