If I had the discipline, I’d write a Prejudice for the Day post daily. It would be like BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day during the Today programme, but without the attempt to shoehorn a political issue into an unrelated religious doctrine. I expect, however, that this will be the only one.
I sometimes think that my accumulation of life experience is merely a set of prejudices. I don’t mean racial or sexual bigotry. I mean smaller shortcuts to prevent me from having to think everything through from first principles. If you don’t think you do it then you’re probably just comfortable with it.
So, number one: any message in which a word has been replaced by a number (eg Happy Birthday 2 U) is probably not worth reading. The same goes for using the @ symbol in anything other than an e-mail address.
There seems to be two purposes for this – to make something more visually striking or to alleviate the writer’s need to type two or three more characters. The first betrays a lack of confidence that the message has substance. The second is just vogueish laziness. The sum is that the message is harder to read, and I’m snobby enough not to bother.