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?