Typing Skills: The Fashion of the Internet
The debate that screams across every active forum on the net; "y do3s it matt3r if I typ rite?" Every admin wishes there was some sort of international law that explained this already, sparing them the trouble of typing out the details to a person that in the end will only reply with: "but it sh0s mi p3s0nality!!1111111" Even the most patient will want to ram a sock down their throat and kick them out the front door. <sn>
One day while chatting with a forum member I was asked: "Why does it matter how they type, if you can understand them?" my response was simple (after a long hour lecturing where I ended up the only person left in chat...) - Typing is the only internet fashion. It shows your personality online just as the clothes you wear in person displays who you are.
Visualize a man walking down the street. He’s is wearing a dozen gold chains around his neck, a basketball jersey, and a fake gold tooth. Your first impression? That man is ghetto fabulous! Ah, but take away all his bling and you discover he’s a college graduate running a million dollar business. If he walked in to a job interview for a big cooperation like that he would never be hired. But hey, it shows his personality!
The way people type online is this same principal. 1337-speak, chat-speak, bad spelling, missing punctuation... all these things though “cute”, “fast”, or “cool” may not show your personality the true way you want to be displayed. Why is that? Because these things have been stereotyped as[b] immature[/b] or uneducated, just like hoochie skirts and spandex on grandma. Sure its fast and easy when you want to message someone on AIM or text them on their phone, but when it comes to a forum community it just looks silly!
Take 1337 for example. This is usually a normal sentence typed up with a bunch of numbers or symbols. For most people this is near impossible to understand! So, you want to be that guy on the forum that gets ignored because no one can read your text? It might be fun those silly nights you’re playing around, but on a regular basis, this is a big lightbulb to someone who just wants to be annoying.
Woe is the youngster who is too lazy to write whole sentences. Hey ev1! how r u doing? Great 2 be here! Do you really think you’re typing faster by skipping a few letters? No way! You’re just telling “ev1" you’re probably about 7 years old and you still haven’t learned how to write a big girl. Little kids replace words with letters because they don’t know how to spell the whole words... is that the impression you want to make?
Punctuation doesn’t mean being on time (dot dot dot)
wouldnt the world be kind of scary if when people typed they never used punctuation so every single sentence ran in to each other and you were never quite sure when a sentence ended or another began worse yet you couldnt tell what kind of tone theyre using because it all sounds kind of monotone in your head because people forget punctuation is how you differentiate between pauses questions and excitement. That was horrible, wasn’t it? Hey, we can sacrifice a capital letter here and there, but without those punctuation marks, trying to understand you becomes about as easy as holding your breath for ten minutes while someone tickles you with a feather duster.
I ain’t got no grammar!
So... many countries are forced to learn English as a second language just to be able to function in daily life, and you can’t even use it properly as a first? Good golly, you must be dumb! Sure, most people don’t use writing on a daily basis - but you’re on the internet now fella! People have got to be able to understand you. If you’re using words that don’t exist or your spelling is so bad it looks like a dyslexic monkey is doing the typing, there’s something wrong there! Be kind to your non-first-language speaking friends - people all over the world are using the internet! With English becoming that universal language, you gotta know how to use it!
You took away my personality, now how do I show I’m a unique individual?!
I’m sorry! No wait, I’m not! The wonders of the English language is a bountiful harvest of different words and meanings. Remember what I said about grammar? That’s your foundation! Throw in fun words or phrases like “somnolent” or “Why, something smells pretty odious around here...” and you’ll show just how fun, silly, elitist, smart, amazing, stupefying, anomalous, grotesque, witty, sexy, or even cantankerous as you truly are.
As you can see, the way a person types can show a lot about them. “Good evening, everyone, How do you like your buns baked?” might sound snooty (or dirty...) And “LOLOZ wuz^ ev1??1?11 u r here? A/s/l check!!!!11" might make you want to gouge out your eyes and quiver in fear. Your typing displays more about you than you realize, so put your best text forward and show the Internet what you’re made of!
Written by: The 'divine miss' Diana Notacat, administrator of the Moonwings Forum (a Roleplay Community).