Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Texting, Chatting and Language

Via Public Domain Photos
I recently read Lynne Truss's Eat, Shoots and Leaves. I laughed reading the book. Like her, I need a permanent marker, paint, correction fluid, and so on to correct all the punctuation mistakes I see. Some "mistakes" are just a matter of style that Truss discusses in her book, especially commas.

I am a mix of a grammar Nazi, word nerd, and descriptive linguist. I watch where language goes and cringe at some usage (not grammar) mistakes. We need to have some structure going forward so we can communicate effectively across the generations.

I first heard about this book during my Modern American Usage class in 2006--the same year the iPhone came out. This book materialized in 2003, during an interesting technological period--texting had just become popular on cell phones, but smart phones hadn't come out yet.

Truss discussed how people thought the demise of language was at hand because of texting and chat room shorthand and emoticons. Not that people will ever stop mourning the demise of language since change is inevitable in a mortal world.

Do you think Neanderthals accused the first Neanderthal who scrawled on cave walls of destroying language?

Smartphones changed the text and chat-room shorthand trend only a few years after the book was written. Soon people switched their flip phones and full keyboard phones for smartphones. I held out for years and only switched to a smartphone 18 months ago.

Smartphones complete our words and sentences for us. Thus, we use shorthand less often, except Twitter and #hashtags. Our emoticons are actual pictures. Now auto correct causes us problems if we accidentally press the send button too soon.

Ah...language and technology.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Limericks from High School

“I have the biggest crush.”
A girl told her friend in a rush.
                “Who is the crush on?”
                “The coolest guy—Don.”
Don passed by causing the reddest blush

A woman who was very cruel
Could beat anyone in a duel.
                If you looked in her eye
                You would instantly die.
Deep, dark hatred was her fuel.

There was a young teacher at school
Who wasn’t strict about every rule.
                She’d tell a funny joke
                To every passing bloke.
If it were a boy, he’d spin on his stool.

A poor little man getting thinner
Couldn’t find a delicious dinner.
                A lion on the prowl;
                Its face set in a scowl.

Who do you suppose will be the winner?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Initialism of RSV

Via Public Domain Pictures
The initial symptoms of RSV are the tickle in your throat, the congestion in your head, and the cough from your mouth. Then the entire family gets sick. The infant has trouble breathing and goes into the hospital for a day. Yay!

Anyway, RSV is an initialism, versus an acronym, that stands for respiratory syncytial virus. An acronym is said like a word instead of the individual letters. For example, BYU is an initialism for Brigham Young University, and SLCC (slick) is an acronym for Salt Lake Community College.

RSV seems like the common cold, but it is a different virus. It is nastier than cold viruses because it creates thicker mucus. Thus, babies have a harder time breathing. It generally last 10 days and peaks at 5 days. Don't trust my medical knowledge.

My husband caught the "cold," then my two older boys, then the two youngest boys and me. Just the common cold, I thought.

My husband was zonked for two weeks and is only just recovering.

The toddler had a fever all Thursday and Friday. He is usually bouncing off the walls, but he was lethargic for 24 hours. Friday morning, my husband took in the toddler, and I decided to join him with the infant. On a whim, I decided to get the smiley infant checked out too.

The medical technician took a few vitals, but instantly asked to see our infant's chest. She said he was retracting.

The nurse and the doctor rushed to see the infant. They took a look and sent us to the ER. They weren't as worried about the toddler. Just said to visit the urgent care with him later.

The ER doctor admitted my infant into the hospital because his oxygen saturation levels dipped. The mucus test results came back with RSV.

We never had anyone check our toddler.

On Saturday, I took my toddler into the urgent care. His oxygen saturation level was low, so they sent us to the ER. Again.

I bawled the entire drive over and for awhile at the ER. Would I have two kids in the hospital?

The ER doctor wasn't concerned about my toddler. Just gave us a prescription. So simple.

Luckily, my infant was able to come home on Saturday evening.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Definition of Kool-Aid

"Carrot Juice..." by Ekaterina Sysoeva
A month ago, I had a craving for a fruity drink. I bought many Kool-aid packs and Crush single serve packets. It was a cheaper way to satisfy my craving...I thought.

Here comes the definitions of preteens and toddlers.

Preteens: those independent souls who pour themselves and leave open cups around the house.

Toddlers: the soul who declares independence who pours oneself and knocks over preteens' open cups.

So Kool-aid no longer has a good definition anymore.

It's new definition: my carpet's worst enemy.