Magazine article Risk Management

No Laughing Matter

Magazine article Risk Management

No Laughing Matter

Article excerpt

Ever since texting became our preferred form of communication, I cringe whenever I see how people are willing to butcher the English language in order to save themselves a few button-presses. I understand the desire for speed and brevity, but when I have to Google your "smh" to find out that it means "shake my head," you are failing at the entire point of communication. Not only is your message not being conveyed clearly, but now you are making me dislike you and your laziness and wish that you would get off my lawn as soon as humanly possible.

One of my most hated text abbreviations is "lol." It always seems so disingenuous. After all, I suspect few people are actually "laughing out loud" when they type those letters, and the hyperbole is unwarranted. Even worse is its cousin "rotfl;' because I'm pretty sure no one has ever actually been "rolling on the floor laughing" from anything, let alone a text message. So I was pleased to hear that a Facebook report found "lol" has fallen out of favor online. More than so% of commenters on the site now use "haha" or its variants, while less than 2% still use "lol." I approve wholeheartedly.

What this issue illustrates--aside from my curmudgeonly tendencies--is our ever-present love/hate relationship with technology. We love what technology can do for us, but often grow to hate some of the ways it is used. Texting is great, but the downside, at least for me, is the dumbing down of language. Even the cellphones we use to text are marvelous wonders until someone commits the cardinal sin of talking on one on public transportation or, far worse, a distracted driver causes an accident while talking or texting. All of a sudden we're wishing for the simpler times before we had to contend with the annoyances brought on by these innovations.

Drones are one of the most recent additions to the pantheon of cool gadgets made less cool by thoughtless users. …

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