Yesterday, while hanging out with Sunny bhaiya, my cousin who takes the mantle of “Geek” with too much pride, our conversation steered as usual to our children, or as they’re known to the general public, the i-phones.
At the cost of wandering off on a tangent after the first sentence of the post, I love talking to Sunny Bhaiya. He’s the kind of techie, know-it-all that you know is just biding his time before he discovers the next big thing in technology that will have the folks at Wired dribbling over their word processors and the reporters at Esquire penning cover stories about what it takes to be a man in cyberspace (or something along those lines, Esquire always figures out how to transpose the highly coveted epithet of “man” in various fields and various people).
Right, back to the point.
So, even though we had seen each other a few days ago, and done it that day as well, we began comparing iphone applications. It’s amazing how it brings people together, this mutual connect over the kind drivel that we chose to install on the platform that now defines us. (Did ‘Shazam‘ just blow your mind? Or wait….did it just blow your mind).
“What do you use for twitter?”
“Didn’t twitterriffic collapse because of the twitocalypse virus?I use tweetdeck.”
As soon as the worlds left his mouth we both sat there in brief silence, coloring up.
History is testament to the fact that the bastardization of the English language is an ongoing process. We “grooved” our way through the 60’s and now we’re googling and facebooking the hell out of everyone and everything while texting and occasionally sexting.So why is am I so twitterified, twindignant even about the twopularity of twitter?
I’ve always been a purist, a serious language snob or as people have often called me, “that asshole who won’t shut up about her grammar shit.” I worship Grammar girl and have been known to carry a copy of Elements of Style with me for months on end (and been known as the aforementioned asshole who won’t stop whipping out that stupid book, to prove her lameass point.) It’s one of my few guilty turn-offs. (Totally brilliant perspective on the topic by Christian Lander of “Stuff White People Like” fame. I’m not white by any standards, but I am still a grammar snob.)
What bothers me about the twidespread twitfluence of Twitter (I’ll stop now, I swear, but it’s so Goddamn easy!) is the fact that it’s the name of a company, a money making mechanism, a corporation that in today’s economic climate would take very little to fall flat on it’s face, and then the words would be obsolete. It’s different to “grooving” to anything. (The word came into being when the phonographic needle fit neatly into the groove of a record.) We grooved after something solid, that hung around for a couple of decades before being made obsolete by the cassette tape, I’m not a 100% sure what the life span of Twitter is going to be, but I am willing to bet it won’t last more than a couple of years. Something else will come along in the next few months that will make grab our teesny-weensy attention span and it will be like Twitter did not exist at all.
Just the frivolity of it all kills me. And the fact that we are so ready and eager to take on anything that captures our imagination for all of 140 seconds is embarrassing to the English language, well, any language for that matter. (Eg. Mumbaiya Hindi (Hindi specific to the Bombay area of India), the well loved dialect of Hindi with it’s “Kya mangta hai” (What do you want?) and “Apun ko leke jaane ka hai”(I want to take this away) make my blood curdle into a thick, thick yogurt. I’m miffed that we don’t give language the respect it deserves; that it’s the one thing that defines our world, and is yet treated with such callousness. In today’s age of 24 hour news coverage and everyone suddenly becoming an “internet media/marketing” expert/maven/guru, we have embraced pretty much anything, willingly inculcating it into our everyday language, popularizing it and obscenely flaunting it on any channel of communication we can.
I flip you the bird.
Update: Not related to the main theme of the post, but really?