“Xaxa Xweewy, aki am xo xowy…”
Apologies for starting my column in Chinese. Believe it or not, that was a text message one of my comrades sent me this morning. I have spent the past three hours trying to decipher the Morse, but all I have gained is a grueling migraine instead. I just don’t understand any of that gibberish.
What really chaps my shorts is the fact that that is actually the standard writing language used by students in all tertiary institutions across the country. My comrades show no remorse at all in violently butchering grammar. In fact, they happily boast about it by displaying their criminal lingo all over Facebook and Twitter. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I strongly believe am the only campus student who can spell words like ‘thanks’, ‘sorry’, and ‘success’ correctly. In fact, for this rare ability, President Uhuru should award me a holiday with a masseur of my choice. Heck! He should even crown me Moran of the Burning Spear!
And what’s with this asinine trend of these young chaps wanting to abbreviate everything? This is a sorry generation of young people who are reliant on lethargic short form communication and must end every sentence with an emphatic LOL. I was trying to interview a student leader via email about the recent lecturers’ strike and all she kept sending me were ROTLMFAO, SMH, KJG, BGT and an offensive looking MILF. The student leader later appeared on telly spewing bad grammar all over.
Methinks our education system miscarried when it failed to show students that punctuation marks can actually be used for something else other than the horrifying yellow smiley faces they plaster on everything. As humanity, we have made a great effort in progressing from cave drawings to symbols then to written text. But unfortunately, Kenyan students are working so hard day and night to take us backwards. These comrades of mine skip more periods a pregnant 18-year-old. It’s a sad state of affairs.
Have you been to Whatsapp, Twitter or Facebook of late? Grammar used on these social networks is so bad that half the time I don’t know what anyone is blathering about. It is highly unintelligible and filled with crazy ‘Sheng’ and infuriating abbreviations. That’s pure anarchy and impunity against the decorum of writing.
My old man grandpa Richard says that unless one has a genuine disability, there is no excuse for writing the way these campus students do nowadays. “Your writing style reflects heavily on what you think. Judging by the way young people communicate nowadays, we can safely assume that that generation does not think at all,” claims grandpa. And I agree. How else would you explain a generation that picks a perfectly sensible word like ‘sorry’ and then ruins its etymology to make it ‘XOWY’?
They wouldn’t recognize a dictionary if you slammed one on their empty noggins, these comrades of mine.