R u ready?
It’s probably safe to say that those over 30 are the last generation who remember a time before emails and text messages were the go-to form of communication. It seems that our first instinct isn’t to pick up the phone anymore, it’s to type a quick note; often so quick that we shorten words or eliminate them altogether in favor of an acronym.
Have you ever been privy to a teen’s text message? It might look something like this:
I’m 2BZ4UQT. CU 2moro! 88 BFFTTE
It may seem like a complicated code to those unfamiliar with today’s digital slang, but it actually means, “I’m too busy for you, cutie. See you tomorrow! Hugs & kisses, best friends forever ‘til the end.”1
Communication in any form is powerful and important, but some people still long for the days when people spoke in complete sentences, everyone knew how to spell, and acronyms were few and far between. For those people, there’s Speak in Complete Sentences Day!
No one knows the origin of this language-loving day, but we suspect that a frustrated English teacher determined to bring back some good old-fashioned grammar might be at the root of it all.
There are lots of wonderful ways to celebrate on May 31:
- Read a classic book like Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful language ever written. The library is a great place to find all these great works.
- Better yet, read a classic out loud to your children or grandchildren so they can hear the beauty of historical literature firsthand. Little Women, Black Beauty, and Peter Pan are all great choices. Visit Goodreads for more book ideas.
- Take a Tech Timeout and give technology a break on May 31. Have everyone in your home turn off all their electronic devices and encourage them to communicate the “old fashioned” way for at least an hour. Talk in person, call friends on the phone and meet face-to-face.
- Take in a play. Do a search for local community theatre groups and see if there are any good plays or musicals happening in your area. You could even encourage your children or grandchildren to put on a little play in your home instead. It might be something they make up all on their own, or a play based on something you’ve read to them recently. The sky’s the limit. And the admission is free!
- Buy your children or grandchildren an updated dictionary so they’ll have no excuse for not knowing how to spell a word.
- Pen a handwritten letter to a friend or family member—no abbreviations or slang allowed. Everyone appreciates getting something other than a bill in their mailbox!
- Start a book club with your friends and have your first meeting on May 31. Make sure to celebrate with some literary-themed snacks, like a batch of Beatrix Potter’s gingerbread cookies. You can also visit The Kitchen to find out the favorite snack of 12 more great writers.
While it’s hard to stem the tide of poor grammar and spelling, thanks in large part to the proliferation of electronic communication devices, it is possible to encourage and support proper language skills in your own home. Start this May 31!
410993 CAN/US (04/15)