Laura’s Language: A Millennial Dyslexic’s Love/Hate Relationship with Abbreviated Spelling

In the early 2000’s, my fellow classmates and I had to write out everything by hand. This included papers, spelling tests and secret notes we passed to each other. In grade school it was rare to have a computer at home and if you did it was usually off limits to anyone but your parents. Within a very short period of time between grade school and middle school, having computers at school and at home became the norm. We were playing games on the computer and learning that we could talk to our friends in a secret language called IM. The shorthand language was easy for me to pick up and hard for me to mess up.

I thought computers were wonderful because spellcheck would “fix” all my grammar and spelling mistakes but papers still came back to me covered in red marks. How could this be? Well because I was choosing the wrong words from my spellcheck options and slipping in IM shorthand without noticing it! It had become so ingrained in my mind that when I saw the shorthand it looked normal to me.

Today I have to use my laptop every day for work. I have to send emails, write out thought leadership outlines, and write blog columns like this. Sometimes I will read something I wrote in a hurry and find abbreviated spelling snuck into it. Could you imagine emailing an editor and it having “are” spelled “r”? It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than that.

I don’t know if other millennials have these issues but I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to type in full words. While it is convenient to use when you only have a few seconds to send a text I greatly encourage you all to join me in bringing back full words. It’s hard enough to learn correct English so why would I want to fill my brain with useless short text that I can’t use anywhere else? I know shorthand writing will always be apart of how I write and I think it’s because it was a big part of my core learning. The good thing is everyone still understands shorthand writing. The bad thing is people will give you crap about it.


LOL (lots of love),


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