Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Memo to, well, everyone. SPELL OUT YOUR DAMN WORDS.
It's now officially gone too far, you see. It was annoying when Prince did it in song titles, it was annoying when you did it in chat rooms. It's annoying when you do it in message board posts. It's probably annoying when you probably write it out longhand on paper. But, as I said when I started this paragraph, officially. Too. Far.
Nestle. The multinational candy conglomerate, not the verb. Just assume from this point forward that any accent marks that are part of the official registered trademark are present whenever I type "Nestle", because it's too damn early in the morning to remember ALT-codes, OK? Anyway, Nestle. Makers of the Crunch bar. As sponsored by man-mountain Shaquille O'Neil. Their new commercial features their relatively new tagline.
The new tagline is "Why be plain, when you can be crunchy?" That's how it is on their website, and their first Shaq spot. Their second Shaq spot, however, ends with: "YB Plain? When you can be CRUNCHY". Setting aside the punctuational... irregularities, we're left with a bit of a conundrum, that conundrum being, as usual, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?"
It's bad enough that they decided to use "YB" instead of "Why Be". Odds are, the guys working on Nestle's ad campaign are not one of the Two Acceptable Categories For Not Spelling Out Your Words, which I will get to in a bit. But they weren't even consistent! They spell out "be" in the second line, and completely forget you can, if you're going to be retarded anyway, replace "you" with "U". It's like the ad guy was typing the first line while suffering from some terminal disease, and wanted to make sure he finished the slogan before he died. But then, the doctors made a medical breakthrough halfway through "When", and he could live life to the fullest once again. It's an uplifting story. We're going to rewrite it for Valerie Bertinelli and pitch it to Oxygen for the fall.
There are, as I have already foreshadowed, Two Acceptable Categories For Not Spelling Out Your Words. These categories are based on sound reasoning. Specifically, that the time saved by leaving the "yo" off of "you" and the "ae" off of "are" is actually important and significant. "Important" and "significant" are, by the way, defined by me, not you, so I don't care how long it takes you to apply lip gloss. Sit down and shut up. You get to not spell out your words if and ONLY IF you qualify as:
DISABLED. And when I say "disabled", I don't mean "bad back" or "missing a leg" or "blind", because none of these things affects your ability to type *. I mean disabled so that you have to peck out words with a stick taped to your head, or puff out some elaborate code in a breath tube to make letters appear on the screen. You folks can spell stuff however you want, and that's fine.
TEXT MESSAGING. Not that you -should- be text messaging anyway. I'm hard-pressed to think of a situation where text messaging is the best way to communicate. But you seem to think you have to, and since you've only got the twelve buttons to cover the entire alphanumeric character set, we'll give you a pass. If you've got more than 12 buttons on your space device, though, tough shit. Spell it out.
At the risk of sounding like some kind of reanimated corpse from the dawn of prehistory, I was sending messages over modems back when all there were were 300 baud modems. 300 baud modems are like dialup. You know how slow dialup is? 300 baud is 187 times slower than that. At 300 baud, you could read your e-mail letter by letter as it transmitted over the wire. And you know what? We still spelled our fucking words out. You've got broadband, you've got keyboards with actual keys on them, you've got point and click interfaces. You have the 1.5 seconds you need to turn "u" into "you". So do it, fuckheads.
Especially if you're some 39-year-old marketing asshole at Nestle who wants to appeal to the youth demographic.
*If you've got your blind-dude voice recognition software set up to render your "are"'s as "r"'s, I don't care if you live in a world of perpetual darkness. YOU ARE DUMB.