Twitter, Facebook and Rap music are "klling da English lang"!

‘Congratulations’ became ‘congrats’ and appallingly enough has been reduced to ‘congo’. What in the world is ‘congo’?

Fahad Sheikh October 20, 2013

For those of us born before the 80s, this would probably seem like an alien language or could lead to the assumption that the sender of the message has gone nuts.

Prepare yourself, my literate friends - this is the ‘new groove’. This is what they ‘dig’ these days.

Apparently, abbreviations have become our friends and we don’t let any chance slip from using them. Unfortunately, some of these actually end up being more confusing than helpful and annoy the hell out of a lot of people, including myself. The younger generation has made a short form for everything they consider ‘too long’ , so now ‘congratulations’ isn’ t just ‘congrats’ - appallingly enough, it has been reduced to ‘congo’.

What in the world is ‘congo’? What does that even mean?

Evidently, the younger lot couldn’t stand ‘rats’ in the word congratulations and decided to do away with it. Just like that.

The reason, in my opinion, that this trend surfaced was to save time in typing long words in to your PC or cell-phone. However, when some people try to be a bit more creative, it ceases to become productive in any way.
“Ds z a msg dt i rcv a fw dayz ago n i dnt knw wht d hl it mnt fr ovr 1hr!”

The time saved by the person typing out messages like the one above - entering abbreviations for almost everything - is spent by puzzled recipients who take at least five minutes trying to decipher this code.

Productive? Not so much.

Another reason, brought to my knowledge, about why this has become the latest ‘fad’ is because apparently some people actually find it ‘cool’ to type in this bizarre fashion. I have heard many parents complain bitterly about the lyrics of certain Hip Hop and Rap songs. Some truly amusing lyrics I came across were,
 “I say what’s next, what’s next, what’s N-X-E-T.”


“So cold I frostbite ‘em/No Pig Latin but I hog-tied ‘em.”

I am not even sure what the lyricist was thinking at when he/she wrote this.

We had Rock n’  Roll back in the day too, and it was on top of every young adult’ s playlist, but the lyrics to songs like Cyanide, Hysteria, No Remorse had meanings much deeper than:
“MAC, L’Oreal, yep, ’cause I’m worth it

Love the way I puts it on so perfect

Wipe the corners of my mouth so I work it

When I walk down the hallway, they can’t say nothin’.”

Social media sites haven’t made things any simpler, although they tried. With character limits on each tweet allowed, some Twitter posts become amusingly undecipherable. Its actually a mind-game (I am sure they will include these in the puzzle game books along with the crossword and Sudoko soon enough);

All this because apparently some of these word can be ‘unscrambled’ as;

You dare to ask me the point of this fruitless exercise? Beats me.

Every post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all other forms of social networking websites, is full of the so called new-age English, which apparently only the writer is able to comprehend.

I personally have no idea why people even try. This phenomenon (read epidemic) has spread so far and wide that people have actually taken it as far as changing the spelling for their own names in the fight of attaining a place in the ‘cool’ brigade. Names like Zeeshan are now Xeeshan, Faiza is Fyza, Sikander is Siki and the list, unfortunately, goes on and on.

Instead of figuring out a reasonable and intelligent method of shortening words without distorting the integrity of a message, people take it as an opportunity to let out their ‘creative’ side. In an attempt to ‘impress’ the reader with absolute gibberish, the writer not only loses his/her own point but also frustrates the reader. If things don’t iron out in time, employers in about 10 years time will get job applications looking somewhat like this;
“2 whom t may cncern,

I wd lke a job.

Thnx 4 cnsidrng me.


What I fail to understand is why our youth has become so infatuated with massacring a beautiful language that can have the same level of depth as sought by the likes of Shakespeare. Music may be influential in this impressionable age but if this is price that one has to pay then maybe we need to rethink the music genres we allow our young ones to hear. If social media forums affect the way a student perceives a certain language then maybe filtering it out until an appropriate age will be less damaging to the child.

At this point in life, it is important to correct people who make absolutely no sense, not just to help them out but for the sanity of humans all over the world. For a foreigner, the language barrier is difficult enough to deal with and such godforsaken abbreviations and acronyms will only widen that gap.

Parents should encourage their children to start reading books at an early age so they develop the habit of doing so on their own as well. At this point, a child who reads will be able to understand the difference between a regular English message and a code infested English message, but unless we encourage them to spot the difference now, through reading, soon enough the difference may just disappear. Just the thought gives me chills.

Learning English is not difficult at all but putting it to proper use is what we have to learn to do. Speak using the correct forms of the language, listen to music that will increase your understanding of the language and watch movies that will increase your vocabulary as well as your intellect. Give your mind something to ponder upon. Look for depth in the meaning of a phrase, not an online ‘abbreviation and acronym dictionary’ to decipher what it says!

Language is said to evolve with time, but if this is what the English language is deemed to become, then I fear we will all be hanging our heads in shame at Shakespeare’s tomb stone very soon.

Respect a language, “dnt kll t”.
Fahad Sheikh A 23-year-old writer and a CIMA Student from Karachi. He is the owner of a small local business and is working the way towards becoming a professional writer. He blogs at and tweets @fadisheikh (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


A girl | 9 years ago | Reply Seriously! People need to get this thing that using slang language doesn't make them 'kewl', not even a bit. Thumbs up! :)
Fahad Sheikh | 9 years ago | Reply This is my point. The songwriters of today are incapable of producing a grammatically correct song with their tunes. 80s Rockers were not gods but they did it. This carelessness is what RAP has come to be excluding some artists.
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