First of all, this is NOT about making English the official language of the United States. It is a call to help stop the loss of syllables that is rampant in our land!
The United States has long been a nation that loves its acronyms. Every government agency and large industry has its own peculiar acronyms and argot. We have NIMBY, and CINCPAC, and who can forget the Census Bureau's famous POSSLQ? That's pronounced "poss-el-kew," and stands for Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters. I believe POSSLQ was born and died in the seventies, but I digress.
The latest assault on the English language has arisen from 21st century technology, the popularity of the internet and, especially, of texting. Most of us are aware of the meanings of LOL, BTW, OMG, and IMHO. Then of course there is the use of "u" for "you," and "2" for "to." Before unlimited texting plans, it made sense to use as few letters and characters as possible. But these seemingly innocuous cyberspace abbreviations have leaked from virtual reality into . . . well, real reality!
I think it all began when Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck became Bennifer. Alas, Bennifer did not last, and Ms. Lopez became JLo. Unfortunately, the JLo-ification of our language has caught on in print and on the airwaves. (We do still have airwaves don't we, or have they been digitized and surround-sounded?)
Thus, the Biography Channel became BIO. The National Geographic Channel became NAT GEO. Joe Paterno became JoPa, and so on. Quarterback Cam Newton came to Auburn from a JuCo. That's a junior college for those of you not in the know.
If you subscribe to the caveperson theory, we humans started out grunting and pointing in an effort to communicate with each other. We have spent centuries developing and refining our language into a beautiful means of expression. We have synonyms and antonyms and onomatopaeia. We have sayings and adages and old saws. We learned to add punctuation so that what we wrote conveyed exactly what we meant. With the JLo-ification of our language we are in danger of going back to the caveperson way of communicating.
I'm pleading with my fellow citizens to STOP THE MADNESS! Exercise those vocal cords! It's just as easy to say junior college as it is to say JuCo. JoPa wants the rest of his name back! National Geographic is never going to be hip, no matter how short its name.
Just think of all those poor syllables being put out of work - isn't the unemployment rate bad enough? If you love words as much as I do, please send this blog to 50 of your closest friends. Please don't break the chain! We CAN make a difference, IMHO.