Hey... (ugh!)

Greetings from a very warm and sunny day in Singapore! I had forgotten to mention that I had finally updated the photo gallery in my last post. There are two, one of my Greece trip with Linh in September and the other, our Scotland trip in October.

As most of you are aware, one of my volunteering jobs is helping with administrative duties at a cardiac hospital for children. My job is to process new volunteers and so I receive and send emails almost every day. A few months back I was noticing how a substantial number of emails coming in are beginning with ‘Hey’. (I mentioned it to a girlfriend who now teases and continues to greet me with ‘Hey, girl’, knowing how much it irks me, which then makes me laugh).

It annoyed me to a point where after exchanging quite a few emails with one new volunteer in particular, who kept addressing me with ‘Hey’ while I was typing her name in each reply, I had to write, ‘My name is Anh by the way’. It appears that this is sadly the new norm with teens and those in their twenties. The moment I open an email that begins with ‘Hey’, I unfortunately have less respect for the sender. I know that this is probably wrong or judgemental on my part, but do people not learn how to write letters in school anymore? I suppose what annoys me most about it is that the sender usually turns out to be a native English speaker who should know better and appear to simply be lazy about writing properly.

An example: ‘Hey, my name is so and so and I would like to volunteer with your organisation.’ I also get ‘Hello’ but funnily enough, I’m a tad lenient on those who start with ‘Hello’ because they generally turn out to be non-native English speakers and I guess that they didn’t want to be too formal with a volunteer organisation. And then the emails I receive from native Chinese are always properly addressed and written. They obviously learn it in school and actually use it! So refreshing to see.

Funnily, after almost half a year of being addressed with ‘Hey’, during a recent conversation with my friend ED in Berlin, she brought up being addressed with ‘Hey’ in emails and texts and how annoying she finds it. I was so happy to hear her say it; not that using ‘Hey’ is normal, but the fact that I’m not the only one who doesn’t like it!!!! No one’s writing is ever perfect but most of us at least try to be proper. I physically roll my eyes with each email beginning with ‘Hey’ and I hope to continue to do so because I really don’t want to accept the degradation of our written language. The future of written words is looking bleak. Noooooo!!!!!!