24 October 2008


I've been composing a post in my head for a while now about IMing. I spend the majority of my day at a computer. Being online a lot means that I do a lot of chatting online. I've started chatting online when I was about 14, and at that time, I was a firm believer in chatting the same way I would type an email- full sentences, appropriate capitalization, punctuation, etc. It didn't really bother me that the people I chatted with were not so fastidious about their grammar and punctuation, but I did take pride in my "proper" chatting.

Somewhere along the way that went by the wayside. Now my chats look like this:
4:58 PM me: okay, so what was the deal with the doc today?
5:00 PM Eric: i can go to the pharmacy tomorrow
me: why not today?
Eric: he wanted to wait
me: did he say there was anything the matter with you or just a cold?
5:01 PM Eric: maybe an infection
5:05 PM me: i see
5:08 PM time to come home now. 5 p.m.
Not a single capitalized word in the chat. If there are spelling errors (typos, not true spelling errors) I don't usually bother to correct them, as long as I know the other person understands what I am trying to say. I still use punctuation, though. Because very few things are more confusing than multiple sentences crammed together with no distinct punctuation.

However, I also chat with my sister-in-law, Brianne, quite a lot. And she chats the same way that I used to. Capitalization, good spelling, all that sort of thing. Consequently, I find myself matching the way that she chats:
10:27 AM Brianne: How's it going?
10:29 AM me: Sorry. Got disconnected.
10:31 AM Brianne: Hey, how are you?
10:33 AM me: Pretty good.
It's a nice Sunday morning. The weather is always best on Sunday.
Brianne: Is it warming up yet?
me: How about you? How are you feeling? And how's the calling/kids/life etc?
10:34 AM Oh yeah, it's quite a bit warmer now. We haven't turned our heater on in over a month.
10:35 AM Brianne: So the calling is fine. We have our primary program tomorrow, and I need to write a 2 minute introduction
me: I love Primary Programs!
Notice the capitalization? It's all Brianne's influence!

When it all boils down to it, I like my chats to be fast! Fast! I want answers and responses FAST! It's a "chat," and to me that is as close as a phone conversation or face-to-face conversation as we're going to get. As long as I can understand what you are trying to say, then I don't mind bad grammar and that sort of thing in a chat.

I read this article today about IM Etiquette, and I think I'm pretty good about following the rules. Except that I do chat Janssen when she says she's busy. But that is because I usually just have something really quick and funny or annoying to tell her. And she's my friend, which means that if I'm really bothering her, then she'll tell me. Besides, if you REALLY don't want to be bothered, then don't log in to chat at all. (Or show yourself as invisible).

How do you chat? Do you look down on those of us who don't capitalize or hardly punctuate? Do you think, "What is the world coming to?" when you see somebody chat "LOL! G2G! TTYL!"? (Note, I won't look down on you for using those, but I don't use them a whole lot.)


Angela Noelle said...

Dear Readers,

I will look down on you for using them.

The end.

Alicia K said...

I had a friend that i could never understand what on earth she was trying to say on IM. it was all shortened with numbers added in, and to make matters worse, she would talk all gansta like. i always had to ask her to re-type what she was trying to tell me.

Also i used to "lol" a lot, but now it annoys me. i came across someone who at the end of every IM message and even txt message would put "lol". drove me nuts so i stopped saying it.

Alicia K said...

oh and then there are those people who actually say "lol" as they are laughing out loud, as in a face to face conversation. Now thats just wrong.

bubby69 said...

My Stacey is shocking with shortening things especially when she text me. My grammar is shocking but I try my best