That’s it, no more. 140 characters! I can’t say hello in less than 140 characters. Pithy I ain’t! Now of course I can say hello in less than 140 characters. One word: Hello. That’s it. But it does not have any nuance any imagery, zest or je na sais pas!
I love words. I love how they make you feel. I love that they can awaken our minds and our hearts with such passion using a simple combination of vowels and consonants. Looking at a mountain in the distance, it can be a dull boring rock or it can be the birthplace of dragons and elves. We can take such incredible journeys through the mundane into the whimsical. We can see with our eyes but we accept with our hearts and our minds.
I see people walking down the street frantically tethered to their technology and texting away. Can they appreciate the technology that allows them stay in contact all over the world? How can they relate the depths of their words through a string of characters that are, to the uninitiated, simply gibberish.
Many years ago I entered a chat room on the computer. Now I have, I believe, a strong appreciation of the English language. I consider myself educated. And I am, for the most part, up-to-date on verbal slang. What I am not conversant with are the acronyms. There are way too many of them and I’m a neophyte! Now I know I was in an English-speaking chat room because I did recognize the occasional word. I also recognized some letters and symbols from my keyboard. What did they mean? I haven’t a clue.
When I read a book I am drawn in by the surroundings, the people the mystery. This is all done through words and their relationship with each other. In any chat rooms I’ve tried to visit there does not appear to be any relationship between words. Letters just seem to sit next to each other on a line. It reminds me of my school dances when I was a teenager: a bunch of single kids sitting on a bench waiting for other single kids to notice them! I think it’s sad. Dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot.
Let’s extrapolate for a moment. Our youth today thinks and writes in 140 characters. In 100 years will our novels and short stories be relegated to individual letters? Will people be able to write searing articles about the state of our world or will it all be dumbed down to 140 characters? I rue the day! I may have occasionally been accused of being verbose but I would rather do that then lose the flavour and the beauty of each full-bodied word!