A little effort- #advice for #writers


When you say ‘LOL’

I always think of a knoll

One where the grass is so green

And you can just take a stroll

When I read ‘sum’

and I know you mean ‘some’

Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock

My mind conjures up images of Math symbols

And I can’t help but feel glum


When you write ‘lyk’

Instead of the extra-lettered ‘like’

It raises the hackles on my neck

And I wish I could go on strike


Against this need to abbreviate

This compelling habit to re-form

Words, letters and phrases

To a shadow of their original forms


So, this is the request I make

To all writers, bloggers and even those with Facebook updates

Take the time to write your thoughts out in full

It takes but an extra minute

But it will make me, the reader, eternally grateful.

Β©Shailaja V

Using short forms and abbreviations in formal writing drives me crazy. You may have great content, but if the words you’ve used are of the variety that makes your readers scratch their heads and turn away, then you’re losing great readership value. My advice to all aspiring writers and bloggers is this: Write from the heart and write well. And, oh, always do a spelling and grammar check before you hit ‘Publish’.

Β This is written in response to the Write Tribe Wednesday Prompt:

Write a letter, a poem or a piece of non-fictionΒ as if you were advising a novice writer

37 thoughts on “A little effort- #advice for #writers

  1. Couple of yrs ago i was on ur side of the argument. Of course i do agree on the formal write ups but fb comments etc I am guilty as charged….. I do hate typing on these teeny tiny phone keyboards…. Makes me want to find shortforms for every word…..;p

  2. Awie…. this is so so true ! I remember reading your fiction piece on the other blog, on the same subject. I know how hard it is to even read such shortened messages, leave alone the understanding part. Only on platforms like twitter,where there is a limit, such short messages are useful. Otherwise, they kill the beauty of the language !

  3. Hey Shailaja. Dropped by to inform you that I have nominated you for the Liebster award. I’m sure you have received such awards in the past and would leave it to you if you wish to accept it or otherwise.
    If you wish to accept it, please visit my blog post :http://vinodinii.blogspot.in/2014/05/ifs-buts-ands-etcsnominated-for.html and let me know your decision.
    This is just a small way of letting you know that I truly appreciate your writing and your valuable feedback to my own posts.

  4. This new generation need this golden advice . They think it is cool to used abbreviated words and phrases. The old English writers must be turning in their graves.

  5. I totally agree in most of the ones you cited. LOL is really a word unto itself in our new language and using that in an email or tweet is fine — in a blog post – definitely NOT.

  6. Lovely Shailaja! πŸ™‚
    I do use abbreviations, but only in chat or Twitter that too to fit within the character limit! πŸ™‚
    Blog is a sacred space! πŸ™‚

  7. That is definitely an amazing write! And I completely agree with you. “Ppl jus wanna shw dat thy belong in d new world”…. What do you say!! Initially, I had a hard time understand this new-found language. Phew!!

  8. OOPS!!! Somehow I feel like this is written for me! See I am making an effort to spell it out completely now. And I swear I don’t use these in my blog posts either πŸ˜› Its just the chats and comment sections πŸ˜€ Its become a habit, what to do? πŸ˜›

    1. Like I said, Swathi. What you do in your personal chat messages is your prerogative. But the minute it becomes public on a blog, there are certain expectations of the writer. Yes, I do notice that your posts refrain from all of these πŸ™‚

  9. I am with Nibha and Suzy on this… More with Suzy… And I did had a crush on secret language and keywords… so I don’t mind these as long as they don’t appear in formal writing.. πŸ™‚

    1. I have mentioned formal writing in the footnote if you noticed. The facebook update reference is actually relevant if you have seen some posts by people in forums. They ask for answers but nobody understands the question thanks to the sms forms!

  10. While I agree to some extent and definitely in formal writing, I think we also need to move with the times. I mean, do we write in Shakespearean English? There’s a time and place for everything and writing lol on a facebook page I think is ok.

    1. Yes, Suzy. I suppose you’re right. But sadly, the Facebook status does not limit itself to LOL. I have lost track of the number of times I have seen other abbreviations which I could not understand.

  11. LOl!! its not that i lyk this kinda typing but it jst happens!! :p :p

    just kidding! I Dont know who to support on this but yes it does irritate me too while reading these abbreviations everywhere.. but its Ohk while personal texting I guess as I myself fall for it no matter how much I avoid it! :/

    1. Sigh, I know you belong to a different generation, Nibha. All I am saying is, don’t use these in writing. Formally, officially. Which I doubt you do, anyway πŸ˜‰ Don’t stress. This is a peeve that is very personal to me. Not everyone may feel this way πŸ˜‰

      1. I try my best to avoid these kind of errors in formal writing except a few times!
        I loved the way you have put it into poem! Simply Awesome!

  12. Love you, love you, love you for writing this! I am sending it to my niece with whom I have constant arguments about this. She claims that her generation is re-inventing English vocabulary and language as a whole! And then there is the whole slang thing…uff, don’t even get me started on that one! Great post, Shailaja πŸ™‚

    1. I knew you’d love this one, Beloo <3
      Why is it that I have this sinking feeling when I think about future generations? Do you know I even type out whole words and sentences on SMS? Cannot bear to use abbreviated slang!

      1. Me too, I type out the whole words. Everyone says I don’t mind doing that because I type very fast. But it is not that. I just can’t stand those LOLs etc πŸ™‚

  13. when people write ma instead of my, I feel like pulling out my hair. The number of letters is same… why not use the exact word. Loved this poem … very creative way to write about today’s abbrv

  14. A big thumbs up to this one! I’m with you on this.
    The sad part is that this trend has gone to an extent that school kids are getting all mixed up with the correct spellings replacing these short forms.

  15. Oh, how I wish I could like this countless times, imagine the senior citizens falling to this trend too. Sigh!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.