Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Speak

My 21 year old daughter was telling me today how funny my 72 year-old sister's Facebook entries are. "She uses long sentences and writes in paragraphs," she told me. I had to laugh, because of course my sister uses long sentences and writes in paragraphs. 

That's what she's been dong her whole life, like me and everyone else I know over twenty-five. And in my sister's case, no one's ever told her the fundamentals of writing on Facebook that I've gleaned from reading my much-younger "Friends" posts. 

So when I talk to my sister next, I'll have to tell her: "Just give us the facts, ma'am, in the form of an overview. No details. Short, quick and snappy. If you can get rid of a verb or pronoun, do so. You had a good day? Don't tell us how and why. Just say, "nice day" and maybe another word or two so we get the picture." 

But I'll miss my sister's long sentences and paragraphs. I'll have to tell her to email me, or do something really novel. Pick up the phone and call me.


  1. You are so very witty and I cannot help but notice that you have a very strong voice. I can't wait to read more. I,for one, write in long sentences merely because I miss the days when the little things mattered.

  2. Hi Andrea - Thanks for your note. I heard a story on the radio last week about a group of young people here in Toronto, all Facebook and Twitter afficianados, who get together every Monday at Starbucks for a couple of hours to write letters to their friends and family. I thought it was such a great idea, and a nice way to hang out with people. One young woman they interviewed said how much she loved doing it. 'I take my time, think about what I'm saying, and write really personally. I don't normally do that anymore." It's like what you're saying; they're writing about the little things that matter.

  3. Pretty soon we'll resort to electronic grunts.

  4. Oh, so now we know what you look like. Quite lovely, in my opinion.
    Me, I'd never post my photo, so... you may never know what I look like.

  5. Isn't it possible that spelling and punctuation will go the way of the do-do bird as the young'uns iron into their consciousness all the abbreviations and misspellings? Spoken like the elder that I am. [Remember ironing, folks?]

    But I'm sure all those secretaries from the past who had to learn shorthand dictation didn't develop a spelling problem.....I don't think.