Guys, enough is enough. I know some of you are going to immediately jump down my throat, but someone needs to say this and it might as well be me: Stop using abbreviated tweet-speak if you don’t want to look like an asshole.

Yes, I know it might be painful to think of something to say other than “lol,” and “tbh” is so much easier to type out than “to be honest.” But the cold hard truth is that people won’t take you seriously if you’re that person. Here’s why you need to ditch the abbreviations and write like the adult human that you are.

1. Proper spelling makes you seem more intelligent—even if you’re not.
This is common sense. If you’re typing in shorthand and you’re neither a stenographer nor on Twitter, you’re debasing the value and impact of your message. People don’t care if you’re talking complex quantum theory or classic literature. If you’re doing it like a teenage girl, your point will be lost.

On the other hand, if you simply make the extra effort and take just a few more seconds to actually type out your complete thoughts—with proper spelling and grammar—people will be more inclined to actually take what you’re saying seriously.

Oh, and if you type “u” instead of “you,” you’re just the worst. I say that with love, but it’s still true. You’re making other adults cringe.

2. Abbreviations make you appear lazy, because you are lazy.
I hate having this conversation with people because the excuses are always the same: “Shorthand is easier and less time consuming than texting/typing everything out.”

My rebuttal: “Is it really?”

It takes maybe seconds for you to type those two or three extra letters. Plus, if you use a smartphone, words usually appear after you type the first few letters of them. Abbreviations make you appear lazy or, worse, uninterested in the conversation. Investing the tiny amount of effort required to use proper spelling and grammar demonstrates a particular willingness to communicate clearly and intimately, and that’s invaluable.

3. There are better ways to keep it brief.
If you really need to, there are way more effective ways of shortening your texts and using less space to convey your opinion. First and foremost, look at the things you’re saying and see if there are any bits and pieces you can remove from the message in order to say the same thing quicker. The majority of the time, there are.

Writing concisely and with brevity doesn’t make you appear like you couldn’t care less about what’s happening or who you’re talking to; using abbreviations does.


Photo: iStock/AntonioGuillem