A conversation with a friend the other day brought up the subject of pet hates, especially in respect to the modern society as opposed to, say, 50 years ago. After several moments pondering what I hate most one matter sprang to mind: that of abbreviations in our language. I’m talking here about modern speak, the act of people contracting words into shortened forms.
I mean, when did university turn into uni? The first time I can recall hearing this was on Neighbours, the Australian soap that hit our shores back in the mid 1980s. It was bad enough we were already inflicted with the barbie, tinnies and veggies. Please, it’s a bbq (yes, I know that’s an abbreviation, but that’s an acronym – and perfectly acceptable in my book!), canned beer and vegetables – so much more appealing. Vegetables are good for you. They’re nice and healthy. Veggies is baby-talk. In fact, I’d go so far as to say insulting to my intelligence. Veggies, indeed! What’s wrong in saying peas and carrots, beans and potatoes. At least then I’d know what I was getting.
And what so good about “spag bowl”? It sounds more like something you’d come across on a soggy walk across the moors, certainly not something I’d want to eat. Spaghetti Bolognaise sounds so much more appetising, don’t you think? Then there’s mac & cheese. Give me proper macaroni cheese in full any day. Perhaps it’s because both can be difficult to spell, but in today’s climate of computers, spell checkers and auto text surely it’s a poor excuse.
Then there’s the one that really churns me over: Crimbo! What the… is that all about? It took me ages to work that one out when I first stumbled across it. Turns to, it’s lazy-speak for Christmas and Boxing Day. Isn’t using Xmas good enough any more? Sorry, but it makes me shudder.
Okay, abbreviating words when texting is understandable, excusable. Necessary, even. And I appreciate language use changes and evolves over time but we have such a beautiful language, lovely words that are full of history, meaning and description, it seems such a pity to slowly erode it.
Is it just me, or are you bothered by such contractions too? Or do you have other pet hates about modern world?