Lately I’ve been thinking about how language is regressing,
and I get a sinking, depressing feeling in my stomach.
You see it’s sickening how spectacularly
our vernacular is becoming a torn tapestry;
our vocabulary worn thin, barley there;
our once long yarns now threadbare;
songs and psalms too long to share
in 140 characters.
You see this is where we are going wrong:
the port at which we are now berthed
is fraught with abbreviated words
(which I shall henceforth refer to as ‘abbrevs’, for short).
I recall when I was a school,
(specifically in English class)
we were all asked to take a spelling test,
and it was vast.
It was the same list of a hundred words every year;
starting off with easy ones like dog, and cat, and ear,
through medium words like prologue, combat, and austere,
and ending on atrocities like onomatopoeia.
It was supposed to be a yearly work in progress,
but really I yearly nearly died a slow death,
because eventually there came a time,
when I was consistently scoring 99.
This was due to one single, solitary, soul destroying,
stupid, son-of-a-slut, shit-house word… portmanteau.
Portmanteau means two things:
a portmanteau is a type of luggage;
and a portmanteau is a word made up of other words,
like ‘smog’ is made from ‘smoke’ and ‘fog’,
and ‘fugly’ from ‘fuck’ and ‘ugly’.
This brings me back to my opening point,
for a portmanteau is two ‘abbrevs’ which are joined.
Now I’m sure that you are all aware,
that the Oxford English Dictionary,
and I despair,
is becoming full of slang ‘abbrevs’
like LOL and OMG,
for a reason unbeknownst to me,
included is the ‘abbrev’
Who, of sane mind,
would pick up a copy of the OED,
with the sole intent and purpose
of looking up the definition
of the abbreviation
and sheer bone-idle laziness
are the causes of this absolute absurdness;
this abominable violation of a language once so elegant.
Our eloquence has been denied
by a tide of kids too preoccupied
with phones, Facebook, and Twitter,
and tiresome three-lettered chitter,
to just pick up a book.
A real. Paper. Book.
Anyone responsible for saying, out-loud, the letters L—O—L,
anyone who actually says ‘lol’,
must be too emotionally detached,
or too hopelessly apathetic
to coherent conversation and learning,
to physically ‘laugh out loud’.
How could a kid like this ever hope to be able to spell portmanteau,
when all their conversations
are made up primarily
Of three-lettered ‘abbrevs’?
In a world where
‘OMG WTF LOL!?!?’ (exclamation mark, question mark, exclamation mark, question mark)
is a legitimate sentence,
I feel portmanteau is best forgotten,
because PMT means something completely different.
© 2015 Cal Harris
Cal's performance poetry is laced with witty observations of banality and infusions of pop-culture. Spoken-word for the everyday man.