Energy Efficient, But Dim

Sonia wrote to me first, over an online dating site.  She was 29 and made frequent usage of "u" for "you," "r" for "are," and "lol," much like I imagine a 13-year-old cousin would.

Repeated use of such phrases, while typically benign on the part of the user, do nothing for me except force me to make certain assumptions.  It's automatic.  Maybe it's a character flaw.  Regardless, if you use a phrase like, "How r u?  I 8 sum rabit last nite that my dad cawght.  lol," then you will likely not do my opinion of your intellect any favors.  I'm sure that you're a nice person, a compassionate person, and a caring person.  Lack of ability/willingness to to string an English sentence together, however, just doesn't do it for me.  Sorry.

As it turned out, Sonia's first message to me was, in fact, "How r u?  I 8 sum rabit last nite that my dad cawght.  lol."

There was more to the message than that, such as the information that said rabbit was sitting in a freezer since last hunting season, and that it was eaten because she was out of Cheerios.

I read her profile, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of her interests mirrored mine.  A potential girlfriend?  Probably not, but a new friend?  What's wrong with that?

I wrote her back, and after reading some of her own messages (verbatim: "i liek dogs 2, but i liek cats betters.  lol,"  "my favrit movie is dumbo," and "i never playd mase ball, but i liek watchin it is that wierd?  lol.") I decided that it was unfair for me to form an opinion based on what she had written alone.  What harm was there in meeting her?  As mentioned, making a new friend, at the very least, was always welcome.

On my way to the coffee place we had agreed upon, she called me.

She said, "Hey.  I might be a little late."

I asked, "Everything okay?"

She said, "It will be.  Give me an extra ten minutes?"

I wasn't worried.  That was the first time we had spoken over the phone, and she sounded perfectly capable of using the language.

After twenty minutes, she hadn't come by.  I called her up to ask if everything was okay.

She sounded frazzled.  "I don't know what to do," she said, "I'm stuck in my driveway."

"Your car won't start?" I asked.

"No.  I'm locked in."

Uh-oh.  I asked, "Is there anyone nearby who can help?"

"I don't know," she said.

I asked where she was, jumped into my car, and drove to her place, about five minutes away.

I walked up her driveway, and sure enough, she was in the driver's seat, fiddling with the power door switch.

"Hi," she said, "It's not working."

I tried the handle myself.  Yep.  Her door was locked, all right.  I asked, "Do the doors unlock manually?"


"Did you try unlocking the door by pulling the lock up?"  I pointed to the lock pin, sticking up from the inner side of the door.  "Pull up on that."

She did.  Her door opened.  She covered her face with her hands.  "Oh my God," she said, "I'm embarrassed.  I'm so sorry."

"It's okay," I assured her, "It happens.  We can still go out."

She said, "I can't.  I forgot that I'm meeting up with some friends and I had that scheduled first.  I'm late for it.  Is that okay?"

"Oh.  When were you planning on telling me?"

"I just remembered.  This is embarrassing."

Off she went, and I have to be honest here, I was rather glad to let this one go.


  1. idk if i believ this. lol. sounds 2 much liek a rehersd dum blond stry. lol. if this iz real thn u dogd a bulet! glad u got out of it b4 u strtd txtn liek tht 2! (see, there are some others of us that are perfectly capable of screwing up the english language, too!!..lol)

  2. OMG. She h8ed u. LOL

    Was she texting from a cell phone?
    Maybe her thick thumbs made it hard to type.

    Don't get me wrong..I hate the way the English language gets butchered in text messages too

    Locking herself INSIDE a car...she certainly wasn't YY4U.

  3. Hate to break it to you Jared, but I know people in their late 20s who still text like that. I usually judge people by it, too; they're annoying to read, and it's not cute.

    In this case it pretty much proved she was just as moronic as her messages.

  4. Jared, HOW do you manage to attract these sorts of women?! Good Lord, sir, perhaps it's time to update your online dating profile. :P

    True story: I taught my mom to text (and use Facebook) because I thought it would be funny, and now I receive texts and emails along the lines of "did u c that pic i postd to fb?! lol do u want 2 have dinr 2nite w me and dad?"

    I just pass them along to friends, and we have a good laugh.

  5. I feel so much better about those occasional days when my brain doesn't work. Thank you, Jared, for this service to humanity.

  6. My Sister (36) texts like that all the time, it was weird at first but I've got used to not thinking "text like an adult for fecks sake!". She's a bright girl and doesn't speak like a child, I think that some people just think that's how you text if all their friends do the same.

  7. This lady does sound like not the brightest bulb in the marquee. Think a real-life female version of Lloyd Christmas. But the emails and IMs and texts -- lots of folks write things like gr8, l8, r for "are," u for "you," 2 for "too" or "to", 4 for "for" and it has nothing to do with age or brainpower. It just takes less time to type. The misspellings are another matter but just about everyone uses shorthand online and in texting.

  8. ^I don't. Unless I'm at my absolute limit of 140 characters for my Twitter feed, and the only way to get my point across is to use "r" and save myself two characters, I don't use shorthand. And on those rare occasions when I'm forced to abbreviate, I always feel dirty. (More so than usual.)

    My friend is a high school teacher in Bumfuck, MD. She teaches creative writing to 16-year-olds. I honestly think that because of the short-hand everyone uses in emails, IMs, and texts, they're writing skills have taken a dive. They don't know how to spell things properly, and she's actually read assignments where students have used internet short-hand.

  9. That's "their," Nikki. Not "they're."


  10. Ahahahaha! Valid point, Jared. ;) I'd like to point out, however, that in almost one year of posting, this is the first grammatical mistake I've ever made. ;)

  11. No, Corky, it's true. Some young people do not understand how to write well anymore. That's why there are children out there named La-a (pronounced Ladasha) and Rreal (pronounced Ariel). There seems to be little respect for good writing anymore. Vocabulary seems to have gone out the window. And what's worse is that there is a decrease in the love for learning for the sake of learning. I will give this generation some credit though. They are firecrackers at internet research.

    1. Weird spellings of names has nothing to do with writing skills. Neither does use of txtspeak. (I don't use txtspeak a great deal myself, but I have friends who do when they're writing text messages or e-mail. They are, however, perfectly capable of writing good standard English, and they do in other contexts.)

  12. I think using texting lingo doesn't say anything about your intellect, but it definitely says something about how little you care about the potential date, if you won't even take the time to make a proper sentence.
    It also says something about your maturity. Short forms may not (they're just more efficient) but 'lol'? Stuck in the teen years.


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