Good or bad communications, how we use words, determine our success in business and at home. We all send messages in one way or another to employees, stakeholders, co-workers, family and friends. As savvy communicators we connect on a professional and social level and are aware of the signals our words and body language send. The way we communicate is changing all the time. New words are created. Grammar rules evolve. New communication tools are created. Website content, advertisements and videos need to use just the right words to tell our stories in the proper tone, and voice to get the results we want.
Today, text messages are fired off rapidly and responses come back only seconds later. We now use a variety of short forms, abbreviated words and symbols. It is a new language of sorts. I need to study it some more. Some of the more common initialisms are quite logical when you think about them. Others take a bit of thought. Some are profane and not particularly articulate.
Are we losing the ability to eloquently express ourselves? Are we limiting our vocabulary by resorting to these short forms?
A couple of months ago I got an iPhone and I am still trying to get used to the sensitive touchscreen. My fat fingers and the auto correct function can send some pretty crazy messages. The web is full of embarrassing auto correct gaffs. The tool (iPhone) is handy, and has some great apps. Until my fingers get more adept, I will use the touchscreen keyboard with caution.
Using language effectively allows us to deliver messages that in a clear, concise and often beautiful way. We don’t have to use flowery and verbose sentences. We need to know how and when to use the right words. When we can articulate our thoughts and feelings in words, we communicate and we get results. As Albert Einstein said, “make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
A colleague, David Hunter pointed me to this YouTube video that demonstrates the power of using the right words – real words, not abbreviations.
Are you challenged with the new text message abbreviations? Does your audience understand them?