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There is a deadly creature lurking inside of the Internet... We created it, and it may never disappear. This beast is known as... Chat-speak.
(Note: This does NOT involve the degradation of our President, George W. Bush, despite the title. So, if any of you were waiting anxiously to hear him described with insults such as "with a rock-like intelligence" and so on, please walk out of earshot, preferably in a non-mob-like form.)
There is a plague spreading across the Internet- already all sites allowing people to contribute any text to a cause have been infected with it. This deadly disease has escalated in recent years from a mere five percent to ninety-nine percent- and it is steadily increasing, causing a rising number of fatality rates to accompany the ascent. 'What is this abomination,' you may ask? It has been given many names, but only one is known throughout most of the public: "chat-speak."
Chat-speak is solely responsible for more deaths and suicide attempts than depression, alcoholism, and drug-use combined. Its complete lack of grammar, spelling, and intelligence in general causes many chemical triggers in the human brain, none of them particularly pleasant. If anyone who is not used to seeing chat-speak suddenly happens upon it one day, the resulting effects on said person would probably include a downsized I.Q. of about sixty points, a temporary loss of sanity, and the strange urge to burn out his/her retinas with a magnifying glass that just happens to be sitting near the keyboard. But, it doesn't stop there. There are three different classes of chat-speak (as of now their genera haven't been detailed, but you can find further updates in the "Chat-speak and You" magazine), each more damaging than the next.
The first involves the complete lack of capitalisation, as if someone quarantined the Shift and Caps Lock keys from human contact. However, the second version is the exactly opposite: a huge block of malicious, capitalised text normally followed by a string of exclamation marks, as if the constant use of the Caps Lock key doesn't emphasise the typed phrase enough. However, this sensory overload normally causes the reader to search their person and/or home for a spork in order to gouge out the offended ocular organs from their sockets, and soon after thank a higher being for not allowing an audio file to be attached to the text, which would probably blow out the eardrums of anyone within fifty miles of the speakers.
Unfortunately, the last strain of this plague is the least logical and the most sporadic. This hybrid involves a seemingly randomised combination of lower and upper case letters, and, even though it may look appealing at first, as soon as the irony hits home, causes disbelief at the writer's stupidity. If chat-speak was invented to keep people from straining their few remaining brain cells typing out all their thoughts in complete sentences, why would anyone take the time that could be used spelling out words or adding punctuation to mess with capitalisation effects? As for the answer: a complete and utter lack of common sense. Such offences cause half of all people who see an example of this class to grab the nearest blunt (or possibly sharp and shiny) object and hurl it through the computer's monitor, oftentimes causing explosive chain reactions ending in an inferno. In fact, FOX News has recently reported that 70 percent of all electrical fires are created in such a manner. They also claim that the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats. This same news station also has stated that half of all online predators are not actually scheming against children and plotting murders beforehand- most of them were innocently searching the web, happening to stumble across a person's chat-speak. After taking in the immediate shock, disbelief, and stupidity of it all, these people acquire an urge to run out of their houses with any weapon and/or food product nearby and proceed to find and beat the offending person to death with it.
Sadly enough, chat-speak is popping up more often than ever. Instead of being used by young teenagers talking on Instant Messengers, the age range is expanding as torturously fast as McDonalds is across the globe. Even college students have started to take to this online shortcut, using it even when debating major topics. Even though I can't speak for the entire population, I don't really think that having the world's future workers arguing online using an almost indecipherable version of shorthand losing an argument to a twelve-year-old that actually bothers to write out his/her sentences is a good thing. Also, it seems that people have taken to using chat-speak OUTSIDE of the Internet, implanting acronyms that were previously used to save time with typing into normal speech. The sheer pointlessness of it all has been suspected to be the cause of the spike in the number of kids bringing weapons to school. Why else would a middle school student bring a firearm to school if not to finally get those other kids to stop yelling out things like "OH EM GEE"?
But, you must remember that hope is not lost. Out of all of the internet-users, one percent are rebelling against this craze, and half of that one percent are actively trying to reduce chat-speaking levels. This group of people have deemed themselves the "Grammar Nazis," who are in no way, shape, or form related to the Nazis of World War II (the Grammar Nazi symbol, if you have noticed, is faced in the opposite direction of the swastika, and there is a conspicuous lack of mini-mustaches within the troops and/or leaders). This organization does their best to convince other Internet users to give up chat-speak, with multiple levels of success. Such attempts to do so came with the "Save the Vowels Movement," the "Punctuation Preservation Fund," and the use of extreme levels of "shock-therapy" (normally with voltages ranging from five to five thousand volts) on subjects infected with this disorder. This last style of stopping chat-speak originates from the use of electric collars in dogs and other simpler minded creatures- however, it is unknown if this really works, considering that chat-speak users do potentially have a lower I.Q. than the normal canine. It is unknown if this method actually works, but thanks to the enjoyment the enforcers receive from giving this "treatment," it has been practised rigorously through recent years.
Chat-speak is a state of dire emergency- to be completely honest, I was horrified that Bush didn't address how he'd handle its recent growth in his State of the Union Address. The fact that no one seems to be taking this seriously needs to end- there are millions of people who are being forced to adapt themselves to reading this language (which normally involves much physical and mental therapy along with spontaneous ocular bleeding), causing a huge drop in intelligence and sanity levels of the human race. Even though this does help local mental asylums accumulate patients (and fill in all those empty straightjackets that have been wasted until recently), a recent study has shown that along with killing off brain cells at random, every time you use this shorthand, a kitten is killed. Graphically. So, please. Think about the kittens.
A/N: How did this come into creation? Well, it all started when my ninth grade English teacher asked the class to right a humour essay on a topic of your choice. Of course, this gave me the perfect chance to rant about chat-speak, as you can see. I apologise for the horrid run-on sentences -I have such issues with those- and the huge blocks of text, though.
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