Where have all the letters (vowels) gone?

Well, mostly it’s vowels that I am concerned about, especially ‘e’.

You know what I’m talking about.

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It seems ‘e’ is dispensable in the need/desire to create a patentable name. #Matt Williams has shared his insights about this, and while I totally get it (most properly spelt domain names are taken and it’s cool) it annoys the crap out of me. Why?

Well, if AI/ChatGPT is taking over as the ‘source of our knowledge’ I can already see what’s going to happen to the written word. Mainstream writing will end up like text. It’s hard enough to keep up with all the acronyms associated with social media, Ai, big data and Large Language Learning models let alone decipher books, articles, documents and more that have ‘been informed’ by Ai.

In a world where people are not taught the ‘basics’ of grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence construction, what has previously been the realm of text messaging will become the default for ChatGPT and therefore the world. Hey, let’s just go back to hieroglyphs. I’m not joking, this is what emojis are.

Does this really matter I hear you ask?

Companies/brands have been shortening their names for decades. Let’s look at some.

Apple Computer (YES this is true) to Apple

Hewlett Packard to HP

Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC

Huffington Post to HuffPost

Commonwealth Bank to CommBank

National Australia Bank to NAB

Then we have some quite whacky ones

Aberdeen to abrdn after the merger of veteran investment firms Standard Life and Aberdeen

Really…this looks like a text from me to my son trying to tell him that we need to change our catch up time from ‘after breakfast to before noon’.

And, it’s not just e’s that are going missing. As Matt so brilliantly shares many are not just getting rid of the vowels.

Nwplying (Now Playing) and Unbxd (Un-boxed) are other good examples

BHLDN is a wedding website. Mdrn. is a New York real estate website. MNDFL is a meditation app, that vows to be mindful by being vowel-less. WTHN, an acupuncture company.  WTHN’s co-founder Shari Auth insists, “when you do spiritual work, the first thing you need to do is get rid of the I.


Apparently Disemvoweling is a brand naming technique that owes its origins to texting culture. Yep, I can agree with that. 

Some commentators explain that it’s a generational thing. OK, I get it. Anyone over the age of say about 40 when smartphones came out is essentially a dinosaur and unlikely to survive the mass communication extinction event that is disemvoweliation. We can try and some of us might evolve – but I don’t want to.

I like words to be correctly spelt, or is that spelt correctly?

I can read disemvoweled text… Rdy 2 frgt yr vwls?

And I’ve even played this game when I’ve come across those Facebook posts that tell you you’re 1% of the population that can read such text upside down and back-to-front.

Maybe I’m a bit sensitive to the whole vowel thing. I am a business writer and I am paid because of my expertise in writing. Part of this expertise is using the correct spelling.

Or perhaps it’s more personal. After all my name has a few of them (vowels) and I am not sure that anyone would recognise Jq Ln as me?