I used to be a good speller. Not national spelling bee caliber, but a good speller. I am losing it. (More)

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Last Sunday I played Scrabble with two other people. I love Scrabble. I am the kind of player that grins with delight when I can use all my letters (50 point bonus for the non-players). I chortle when I can drop an X on triple word square making “ax” and “ox” for 62 points. I love words. I am competitive but will also happily play without keeping score.

During Sunday’s game I realized that I was thinking in a combination of English, LOLcat language, texting shorthand and ‘making sh!t up.’ Speak lolcat is a great resource for people who struggle to phonetically read the pootie diaries but somehow none of those words are good in Scrabble. The lolcat words have started to look familiar and real to me. Okay then.

I have a non-smart phone which lacks a qwerty keyboard. Texting anything beyond yes or no is a laborious process for me. “U” has replaced “you” just so I can respond before a day has passed. I appreciate the convenience of texting and so I have adjusted my spelling for the ease of getting a message out. In case you are too young to remember life before texting, families used to designate a meeting point at the front of the store in case they lost each other. It worked fine.

During the Scrabble game I was holding the letter Z. I drew it towards the end of the game and was running out of spaces on which to play it. DOZNET started to look like a real word to me. I Googled it just now and found links to an accounting firm. I was hoping for a government acronym. When Doznet looked ‘real’ I realized that the English language was in trouble. I was playing Scrabble like my friend from Barcelona for whom English is a third or fourth language. She has an excuse. Me? I am losing it.