You receive an important email and it looks like it was written by a kindergarten pupil…Marilyn Anona

Indeed the use of the internet has a lot of effect on us. Like everything in life, it has its advantage and its disadvantage. But the best thing is to always strike a balance no matter what it is we do, because even water when taken too much can make you tired. Using the internet has become so easy with the ability to use them in almost all devices. As a result, texting has become a hobby to most people especially the youths. Now in order to be very fast and to appear funny or jovial, during these chat sessions, we apply a lot of shorthand and use some computer languages. This is very good when you are chatting as long as it doesn’t affect you when asked to write a formal letter. At an interview last week, the applicants were asked to write a formal letter as part of the test for the recruitment exercise and I was so sad to discover that most of them used shorthand and internet languages in a formal letter. At that point, I realized that a lot of us have deteriorated instead of getting better simply because of the Internet Syndrome. Sometimes, I see posts on facebook and wonder why the owner of the post can’t take the pains to type out words in full. But then I always say to myself, maybe its because its facebook. But the truth is, it has become part of most of us to type in shorthand even in very formal occasions. Many think that the social networks don’t affect them, but sadly they do. Our youths cannot write down complete sentences without putting in shorthand. Our writing has suffered, no punctuation, no paragraphs etc. You receive an important email and it looks like it was written by a kindergarten pupil. What are the ways you think we should balance our use of shorthand such that it doesn’t affect us in formal settings. I need your contributions. Be Enlightened! Be Inspired!! Be Motivated!!!



  1. We can balance the use of shorthand if we try to reduce the use of shorthand on the internet. We get to spend more time online than writing formal letters and official work and we know charity begins at home, practise makes perfect!!

  2. Its true, ℓ̊† happens ² мє Sometimes †нα† ℓ̊ нανє ² pinch mysef ² return ² reality. Its №† bad but 1 has ² be careful απϑ also proof read woteva dey write b4 sending.

    • Yes proof reading will surely help. Because if you proof read after writing you tend to see your errors and correct them. Thanks for a sincere contribution Ikenna.

  3. Technology has its downside and this is just one of the many. “Smart phones, dumb people”. There is a plethora of gadgets these days and most youths acquire them mainly to be active on social media networks. While on these social media platforms you appear “cool and trendy” when you use shorthand in chatting and since most youths spend long hours on the internet its not unexpected that it begins to affect them when they switch to a formal setting.
    Its a very unfortunate trend but for me I’m not surprised by it in the least, because it only confirms my personal theory on the future of the world:
    In my mind’s eye I see an era in the future when machines will start taking the place of humans in many facets of life. This can only happen when humans cannot function efficiently or as I like to put it when humans have been “dumbed” down to such a low level that the only alternative will be “smart” machines/robots. Big corporations that will profit from this era of the future are already setting the tone by gradually dumbing down humans with use of gadgets such as smart phones and social media that encourages you to use shorthand and depend less on face to face communication and have less need for real friends etc. You’ll agree with me that most people are so attached to their Blackberry phones or smart phones that they will readily choose it over real human friends. I hope you see where my analogy is going at this point, machines are gradually taking place of humans and this is a big business opportunity for some of these corporations. This is the new SLAVERY and I know some people will call me crazy but then again some people called Galileo crazy when he said the world was spherical.
    Nice post from PoshMarilyn as usual, pardon me for taking it to a whole new perspective.

    • Matthew Ugochukwu is always on point. Thanks a lot for this wonderful contribution. In as much as we want to appear trendy by using computer languages and shorthand, she should also be able to know places where they should not be used and use proper words. Thanks for always following

      • Oga, Blackberry is not the only smartphone in the market o. the fact that we abuse EVERYTHING in this country can’t be blamed on anybody but ourselves. Machines as you’ve called them are a very welcome development if you ask me, and if you choose yours over your real human friends whose business is that really? talk about the quality of education in the country, talk about the type of graduates we have whom have paid and sexed their ways into companies, talk about the horrible leadership we all bow to in this country not smartphones.


      • Thanks Fathomberry! Very wonderful contribution. The smart phones are very good and essential and have helped us a lot. The way you use it depends on you and we should not blame the smartphones. Most times, the youths who use smartphones can’t do any other thing with the gadgets other than chat. But I am appealing to us all to always know where to draw the line and not use shorthand in formal writings or even a text message you are sending to a superior or an older person.

  4. Oneday I sent a text message to my aunt in US,she called asking me why we like sending sms in short hand,told her I was just trying to save my airtime (Laughs out loud),kind a weird that am trying to avoid short hand even as I write down my comment now,(laughs out loud)But I think we should consciously avoid the use of shorthand when commenting on facebook and enlightened blogs like,especially now we are aware of this short hand invasion in our writing,though it will take time but it’s worth it,Nice one Ms.Posh.

    • Yeah, @ Macoy, you caught me there! Trying to save credit is also one of the reasons we use shorthand. But to most people, its just a bad habit. We should watch it. It ruins a good writing and makes one appear unserious. Thanks Macoy for another wonderful contribution.

  5. @fathomBerry I can deduce from your name that you are a huge Blackberry phone fan, I am too. We have so many other issues in Nigeria and I’m sure PoshMarilyn has written on some and will hopefully continue to highlight on them until they are addressed. But let’s keep our focus on the post at hand which is about the effect of technology/social networks on our written English. My deductions are based on observed trend and my extrapolations based on this observed trends are my personal opinion.

  6. Truly this shorthand syndrome has eaten deep into the sentence construction of most youths I wish there was something that could be done.

  7. I think the way it can be balanced can only be through two things. 1) Proof reading after writin a letter, article or note and 2) Being careful and exhibiting patience when writing these texts and the knowledge of proper balance of writings when it comes to these different texts

  8. Nice piece. Truth is, most of the people who write in ‘shorthand’ when they shouldn’t, are just intellectually lazy. I can’t see the big deal in switching from what I call ‘convenient writing’ to the standard way of doing it.
    Only recently, a lad who follows me on twitter sent me a piece to edit. I only read the first paragraph and got very irritated. I had to send it back and asked him to rewrite it with good and proper spellings. He didn’t get back to me.
    I am quick to point out these things to those I chat with when they engage in ’em. Some of these ‘shorthand’ writings are just plain silly. Maybe I am old ‘skool’ like that but I really get turned off when people write that way. Some are permissible though. Well done Marilyn.

    • Thanks a lot Uriel. The kid or guy didn’t get back to you because he is lazy and prefer not to take corrections. But we won’t stop correcting them. Its really terrible. Thanks for your wonderful contribution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s