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Get your mind out of the gutter. The new euphemism stands for “What’s The Future?”.

It all started with OMG, followed by LOL which quickly progressed into LMAO and ROTFL. It wasn’t long before girls were discussing their BF and their BFF’s and telling their parents they would BRB. It all adds up to TMI for many of us. Don’t worry, for those you who are fast track impaired, I’ve provided a translation at the bottom of this post.

I, myself, am guilty of using many of these acronyms. I blame Twitter which has inconsiderately restricted me to 140 characters to get my thought across. I can’t even talk to myself in anything less than 300 characters, and that’s after I’ve had my morning coffee.

This past July, I received my yearly care package from a dear friend in Colorado. In it were nicely wrapped gifts and a beautiful birthday card. I also received an additional card from her in the mail on the same day. I carefully opened the creamy blue envelope and read her caring hand written words. Susan is the only person who sends me real mail. And when I receive it, I realize how much I miss the old days when I would receive pretty invitations, miss you greetings and get well cards in the mail. All of her notes contain no abbreviations (huge sigh of relief).

Whatever happened to the English language? Is this new manner of speak a permanent condition, or is it a passing fad? IMHO I would offer that it is sadly here to stay.

In these times of hurried text messages, voice mail, emails, Skype and IM’s, and DM’s, do you get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, our cultured state of speak is on the verge of extinction?

Are we really in that much of a hurry that everything needs to be abbreviated, slashed and minimized? Evidently.

It’s not just for the progressively young and in a hurry crowd. Many of us have used acronyms here and there, now and again. Don’t think so? Don’t bet on it. When was the last time you penned or typed FYI, RSVP, ASAP, or BTW? Ahh, it’s coming back to you.

Well, FWIW, I am a strong advocate for the English language. I can’t imagine a day when the books we read will contain abbreviated words, although scholars warn that the day is coming. IDK about you, but I refuse to go there. I will not participate. TBS, I’m not sure that my opinions amount to a hill of beans.

Progress has a way of marching on with or without us. I’d like to stand on the hilltops and yell “Hey progress, keep your grubby hands off our English language!”. My luck my plea would be reduced to HPKYGHOOEL! Yup.

Our language and our ability to articulate our opinions, desires, anger, love and hate is what separates us from the animal kingdom (that, and we have thumbs). IRL we need to use all kinds of words to relay our sentiments. I’m of the belief that abbreviations go hand in hand with voice mail as contributing greatly to the downfall of our society.

Words are beautiful, hurtful, sad, happy, destructive, scary, haunting and enchanting. But most importantly, words are hugely powerful. I’m not sure how powerful abbreviations are. They don’t conjure up any emotions or thought. They just make my head hurt.

I am a kind of WYSIWYG girl. But I’d like the opportunity to be able to spell it out for you. To have you take the time to know me and understand what I’m about. And I would like to read and hear about you, in real words, beautiful and descriptive words.

NM that the world is spinning quickly out of control, that new iPhones are being generated before we learn how to use the ones we have, that our computers and televisions are obsolete the day after we bought them.

FGS, slow down everybody. Use your words. They are the language of an intelligent people. I may be the only one who feels offended at the onslaught and sacrilege that has been bestowed upon our English language. If so, I will happily stand alone and gripe about it until the end of time (my time to be precise).

I close this post by posing the question: does our very culture rely on our ability to articulate our language? In short … WTF?

TTFN, I look forward to your input. HAK everyone!


The abbreviation key for dummies (JK – Just Kidding)

ASAP – as soon as possible

BF – boyfriend

BFF – best friends forever

BRB – be right back

BTW – by the way

DM – direct message

FGS – for God’s sake

FWIW – for what it’s’ worth

FYI – for your information

HAK – hugs and kisses

IDK – I don’t know

IM – instant message

IMHO – in my humble opinion

IRL – in real life

LMAO – laughing my ass off

LOL – laughing out loud

NM – never mind

OMG – oh my God

ROTFL – rolling on the floor laughing

RSVP – (French) respondez sil’ vous-plait

TBS – that being said

TMI – too much information

TTFN – ta ta for now

WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get

Exhausting … isn’t it?


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Mel Glenn - What a wonderful and witty column (WWC) (LI) Loved it. You are a savior of the English language (SEL) Please keep writing (PKW) in the long, establish form, of course.

Kellie - Oh Ya Twitter has made it very difficult to write anything that’s for sure. I was told the other day TOO many words! I too along with my mother send REAL cards! I still don’t know most of the words. I say to other people. WHAT????

MerCyn - Thank you for my daily dose of information I will quickly forget, a symptom of my age. GTG (got to go).

Joan Cooper - Well – along with the “paperless” world of the computer! Never mind Jeff – do not tell me I don’t use the computer correctly.

Maybe we will have a universal language after all.

HAK (love it)

joan cooper

Jeffrey Davidson - OMG, this is so true!

One of my BFF’s commented on this also and I said “FYI my BFF it is the WOTF, so GUTI.”

He said that “The lack of VC makes things SI that it’s a shame.”

I said that “most people SDNC about things being SI. It is SME to communicate when you do NHTT and you do not have to WIL.”

It seems that with AT people find that they CGMA if they do not have to PC.

Of course in a RR it may be better to PCV even though TS plays such a major role.

OW! I guess TL.

Of course, since there is no adequate lexicon for the myriad of abbreviations and there are no grammatical rules with regards to the abbreviations, it would be as though people are speaking different languages.

Communication is fundamental to socialization, working together, sharing knowledge and ideas. Misinterpretation leads to many problems. It is too easy to misunderstand and misinterpret all of these abbreviations.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“The greatest fallacy of communication is the illusion that it has been achieved.”

Enough said!

OMG – oh my God
BFF – best friends forever
FYI – for your information
WOTF – wave of the future
GUTI – get used to it
VC – verbal communication
SNDC – simp;ly do not care
SI – so impersonal
SME – so much easier
NHTT – not have to talk
WIL – write in longhand
AT – advanced technology
CGMA – can get more accomplished
PC – personally communicate
RR – romantic relationship
PCV – personally communicate verbally
TS – tactile stimulation
OW – oh well
TL – Where is that lexicon?

Carol - As always Tammy, you are a master of the written word! Always look forward to Witty Woman Writing. Many thanks for an enjoyable read!

Tammy - Hi Carol, thanks! I had such fun with this post, it just flowed out. I needed to use my own key word reference. I’m ridiculous. So glad you enjoyed the read and ever so glad you are here! Thanks for the post!

Tammy - Oh my gosh, Jeffrey, you are awesome! I now understand that it must have taken some time to get through my post if you didn’t know the acronyms. You went all out, Mr. Davidson. Kudos! You mentioned something that I should have absolutely touched on; that misinterpretation does lead to problems, hurt feelings, cost over rides and bloody noses. Abbreviated nonsense only complicates matters. Thanks for bringing it up! This was such fun, but I think I will stick to the good old fashion way of writing. By that I mean sarcastic and in long hand. Haa! Thanks for being here and for the post. It was great!

Tammy - Hi Mel, wasn’t that kind of fun? In a novel kind of way, of course. I stand by my ‘keep it real’ soapbox. I will absolutely KW (keep writing) only if you promise to KR (keep reading). Thanks ever so for the post. You know I appreciate having you here.

Tammy - Hi Kellie, it’s all a learning process and a a royal pain in the butt. But the worst part of it all is the criminal desecration of the English language. Bah! I’m all about progress, but it just feels like this is moving backwards, like in the time when cavemen grunted as their form of communication. Glad you enjoyed the read. So very happy to have you here.

Tammy - Hi MerCyn, you are most welcome. But I would most likely consider this an OVER dose of information. It’s a sign of the times I’m afraid. But I don’t have to like it or go gently into the night. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Thanks for the post. You, my dear, are awesome!

Tammy - Hi Joan, I’ve often thought the universal language was music. I might still be right, cuz it sure isn’t this pop culture stuf. (Did I just sound like an old bitty?) HAK (hugs and kisses) to you. Thanks ever so much for being here!

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