At the risk of sounding uncool and not-with-the-times, let me say this: I hate SMS. No, I don’t hate the act of sending and receiving text messages, it can be fun at times; what I hate is the language used. Okay I know there are only so many characters that you can fit in one message and if you shorten every word you save space and thus save money, but do we need to abbreviate each and every word? “Cl me bck as soon as u get dis msg.” “Wer r u? if u dnt want to c me, fyn!”. And not content with our text messages, we are letting this new abbreviated language spill on to everything we write. How much effort does it take to write on your computer “I would like it very much if you can come over and maybe we can all go for a movie” instead of “I wud lyk it very much if u cn come over and myb we can ol go 4 a movie.” I'm not an English teacher, but I know English teachers the world over are crying over this, and I've read hundreds of pieces condemning this growing butchering of the English language.
Back in 98/99 when text messaging was still a new concept in India I remember reading an article about SMS-es and how useful they are and how it can help you stay in touch with anyone anytime. The author was saying how he was at a Bryan Adams concert and was SMS-ing to his girlfriend “da only thing dat luks gud on me is you” and I thought, wow this is cool. A few years later when I got my first mobile phone I remember sending SMS-es all the time, it was fun and addictive. To this day I still send the occasional SMS, but I now prefer making a short phone call. I don’t think I could survive a barrage of newly formed words slowly filling up my inbox.
We are all aware that Mizo is also under heavy fire in this battle of words, with new spellings popping up every now and then. I do admit I also tend to abbreviate, but it is mostly in replacing “aw” with “o”, as in “Voiin chu ka ron kal don.” Nothing much beyond this. I cringe when I see youngsters today write, “In rn kal dn lo anh cuan mn rn silh mey ru o.” I once got an SMS from a friend that I couldn’t understand at all; I called him back and asked what the message was all about.
I'm not trying to preach here or be pedantic or act like a know-it-all. If you want to write in a language that mystifies and perplexes in its compression and metamorphosis of already existing words, absolutely fine by me, it’s your phone/keyboard/pen, write as you please, it’s your life. But I hope and pray I am not the recipient of such magnificent compositions; you don’t want to give an old girl a heart attack, do you?