Abbreviations of the Absurd

Islamo-fascism, BRB? The New York Sun reports that the Bush administration “has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language.” Gone are the days of “mujahedeen” and “jihad.” The reason: “Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates.”

Meanwhile, in America’s classrooms, a new study says that the informal style of electronic messages and email shorthand is showing up in schoolwork, and is bleeding into what students refer to as “real writing.” As the English language evolves, said one source in this piece in the New York Times, “some e-mail conventions, like starting sentences without a capital letter, may well become accepted practice.”

And a sad truth of this run-off: OMFG now passes — and is, in some cases, praised — as a bona fide marketing slogan.