2 L8?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 by Simon Morton

A couple of things have popped up recently that have served to heighten my already intense paranoia regarding the death of the English language.

It seems counter intuitive to me that in a world where information is currency we seem to be rapidly losing our ability to communicate effectively.

For those of us who feel that the decline of intelligent communication has already launched from the top of the Cresta Run on a bobsleigh constructed from the bizarre text-patois that replaces letters with numbers, things are only going to get worse.

The social media revolution has conditioned people to try and get their message across using as few characters as possible – often 140 or less – this has forced language to adapt in those arenas. It is the leakage of these ‘shortcuts’ into other forms of communication that gives me pause.

The whole thing is now so insidious that even those of us who would rather eat our own eyes than miss out a comma, now need to be able to read and understand this intriguing ‘evolution’ of the English language.

OK – rant over.  So what does it mean for the future of presentations?

There will be a temptation for some businesses to incorporate this new language into their presentations (especially those who feel it will strike a chord with their target demographic) but caution is to be advised.

Firstly, this may not sit well with what is essentially a corporate message, putting you in real danger of looking like an octogenarian at a rave (embarrassing to everyone and amusing to most).

Secondly, you would need to be absolutely sure that every member of your audience will understand.  If you can’t guarantee this then you should consider that you might as well give a presentation in French to a Spanish audience.

Whilst Eyeful have always been proponents of getting to the point we also firmly believe in the importance of storytelling.  Anything else is as useful as a punch line without a joke.

NB: for those of you who find this whole blog ‘amusing but irrelevant’ now might be a good time to check your presentations for unnecessary acronyms (aaah, the dreaded TLA!) and abbreviations – you know who you are!

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