As a part of class discussion, we reached the topic of language. The most passionate of participants split into two sides - the English language should continue to "evolve" (side A), and the English language should remain the same (side B).
Side A, Brad, felt that the English language should continue to move in the direction of today's common "chat speak". Abbreviations (TBH, FWIW, AFAIK, AFK*) save time and effort, and are of universal knowledge. Language has been evolving for thousands of years, and it makes no sense for it to stop now. Only a few decades from now, language should be so different that the English language we use now will be seen as archaic. People can be more concise and will be able to easily understand each other, eliminating the hassle of diction confusion. Language is not an art form and should not be held captive in old ways. Since it is a part of many people's everyday lives, especially for those who type online very often, it should become a common practice in society. People should not be reprimanded for using it in academia or other serious situations.
Side B, Casey and I, feel that the English language is indeed an art (was I the only person who had "language arts" classes everyday in elementary school?). Abbreviations are NOT common knowledge and many people need to ask or look up what they mean. To take a language that has been moving forward for thousands of years and break it back down into three-to-five letter abbreviations is insulting and degrades it hundreds of years - sending our progress and knowledge of language and literature backwards. Just because "a lot of people" (not everyone) use chat speak, does not justify its significance for the rest of the world; some people use chat speak online, and some do not. For some, it does not save time or effort, or they choose to present themselves as more than stereotypical, lazy-typing chat users. People should most definitely be reprimanded for using such language in serious situations. It is unprofessional and holds no validity, nor should it, in academic submissions. There is a time and a place for chat speak, and that is on chats if people so choose.
How many people would take this seriously? (Click for full size)
*To Be Honest, For What It's Worth, As Far As I Know, Away From Keyboard