Happy died with Birthday— mutilating words in the name of what?


ImageSeptember 11, is my birthday. Two days ago my facebook wall and phone inbox was filled with lovely messages from friends and acquaintances. I felt special. And, I also realized just how okay it had become to maim words.


“HBD,”  “Happy B’day,” and then someone wrote “LLNP.” It took me a while to figure that one out, ‘Long Life and Prosperity?’  Well thank you, but it could have also meant Let’s Learn New Phonemes, I don’t know, okay, maybe I am stretching it, but… I have fears that soon we are going to force essays into not so nicely packaged short forms and contractions.


It is ridiculous! We need words! Words are not just nothing! We can’t just maim them and move on with our lives like it doesn’t matter. It matters, at least to me.


Will it be okay to say ‘TY’ to you if you saved me from drowning or served me breakfast? “Hey, I could have died, TY,” or maybe ‘HICHDTY.’ Really? Someone please let me in on where we are going with this indiscriminate maiming of words?


You only have to say Happy Birthday to a person once a year and you can’t say it in full?


Good night has long been destroyed.  ‘GNSD?’ No! “Good night, sweet dreams,” that is what will be felt. ‘GNSD,’ why are you learning the alphabet in a weird order?


I don’t think people who use short forms necessarily can’t spell, but if you can’t spell, use a dictionary. For whatever other reason you use short forms, watch it before it messes up your spelling. 


As a Ghana-woman would say, “the long and short of the matter is,” I want my words whole and meaningful, am I asking for too much?


By: Nana Nyarko Boateng  www.girdcenter.org 

11 thoughts on “Happy died with Birthday— mutilating words in the name of what?

  1. as guilty as i am of this heinous offence to the world of meaning and words i would say mine was really just passive indulgence – taking things for granted. This is a jolt from that state. I agree that words define meaning and shape reality. we need them. Modern communication dey make we inherit too much trash…

  2. i remember on my Birthday someone sent me HBD LLNP and i kept wondering what it meant. Finally if figured it out and i got angry.
    It’s not like sending “Happy Birthday, Long Life and Prosperity” would exhaust all the allowable 140 chars for one SMS. I sent the message back and told the person if she couldn’t type a mere Birthday message in full to someone who was supposedly her friend then she shouldn’t have bothered.

    Anyway, what on Earth does “HICHDTY” stand for?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s