To back up my claims that this sort of pervasive abbreviating is ruining America, yesterday I found this:
One was tuned to MSNBC, and they displayed one of those static banners across the bottom of the screen as they cycled through clips of various people talking. It said, "World Reax to Hamas Victory." I must have looked at it five times, making sure there was no sweat in my eyes. But every time, it was still there. Reax. It was enough to make an English major cry on the spot.
But, perhaps I'm like the RIAA in the face of P2P technology. In denial that this could be a more efficient way to communicate. A shift in linguistics. In looking at any random sample of web sites, I'm sure I could find countless examples of informal language being used in relatively new ways. The Language Log quotes a fascinating Economist article:
The easy availability of the web also serves another purpose: to democratise the way linguists work. Allowing anyone to conduct his own impromptu linguistic research, some linguists hope, will do more to popularise their notion of studying the intricacy and charm of language as it really exists, not as killjoy prescriptivists think it should be.
Still, old habits die hard and I will continue to delete any internet dating dudes who abbreviate.