The evolution of language is a slow process. It’s tempting to call it geologic in terms of how long language takes to shape. While most people are regularly aware of dialectic shifts and slang changes, language itself rarely takes on a new dimension. The other side of that coin is the reality that consistency is a necessity for communication.
With that in mind, the written side of language tends to be more fluid. Nowhere is this more apparent than the acronyms and shorthand used on the internet and in texting (http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php). Yet, people don’t realize this has an effect on day to day communication. I recently witnessed a teenager react to a joke by remarking “LOL” with sincerity instead of laughing; I frequently get emails which look written by lobotomized cavemen; on occasion it takes me three minutes to decipher what people have sent me in texts (i.e. BHIMBGO, BOCTAAE, FEAR, ne1er). And there is no end in sight to this influence on the written word. As such, I’ve decided to take a more proactive approach instead of killing myself.
Rather than standing in the river trying to hold back the flood, I feel the best course is to take this new reality in hand and guide it along. To that end I am recommending the tilde (~) to be used in place of Like. I ~ U. On occasions where it might be warranted, those penning their feelings can use this handy symbol to imply their inclination. Rising and dipping, the tilde carries the suggestion of not being totally in favor or against something. In essence, one likes a particular situation or person.
There may be better symbols of which I am unaware. Directing the world along a trivial course means that one is subject to a variety of alternatives such as simply using the word like. However, until the dawning of such an ironic resistance to shorthand, we as a people should take the evolution of our language more seriously. It belongs to us; we us it on a regular basis; why not manipulate the way we communicate? After all, the conscious evolution of language makes it manageable as well as comprehensible. Otherwise people might craft their own personal words creating unintelligible nonsense which confounds those around them. I’m not here to refudiate the natural process by which words develop organically. But the truth is that no aspect of language is incidental. Every term that human beings use is the result of intentional development. Even the simian grunts that would form the first protolanguage required a deliberate attachment to whatever concept they were meant to describe. This being the case it makes sense to seize the reigns in order to ensure a tolerable tomorrow. I’m doing my part, and I hope you ~ what I’ve devised.