It seems nobody uses complete words anymore. At least, this has become normal while texting or instant messaging. TY means “thank you,” OMG means “Oh My God,” and then there’s the naughty one of WTF, which of course means “Where’s The Fish,”… or something. Many people say these are acronyms; but last I knew, an acronym was formed when you used the initials of several words to make yet another word. Being the curious noodle head that I am, I had to look it up. If you can’t make a real word, then it’s at least something with vowels and consonants mixed together into a form you can actually read and pronounce. NATO, UNICEF, and UNESCO are some examples.
So things like OMG and LOL are actually examples of initialism; of which I had never known until I started writing this “Happy Friday!!!” I’ll probably continue to refer to the text thingies as acronyms, because if I call them initialisms, people will probably wonder if I’m some sort of subversive nerd clown geek bug biter weirdo person.
I’m retired now, but we used an instant messaging program at work pretty extensively. It could also be a source of amusement, for me at least. I used it as a stress buster and sent obscure ditties to my friends like: “I probably won’t put my nose in the toaster today,” or maybe “Listen!! Do you smell something?? I can’t even see in here with all this noise!!” I copy the first line and send it to a friend; then paste it into message windows for several other friends. Must help them smile, because I’d get yelled at when I got too busy to send out the sillies. “Hey Ken,” they’d complain, “where’s my silly text for today??”
The chat program can also have legitimate work purposes, like gathering information. I used it regularly to ask quick questions. Most people were pretty considerate and answer quickly; but one of my favorite times was waiting for the other person to reply and they’d say, “brb,” for “be right back.” And then of course they forgot about you. So, I found myself texting people more and more often with the words: “OK to call?” Don’t get me wrong, texting can be useful, but many, many times it is more useful to actually speak into a phone. Much faster too really. Dunno about you, but even though I can type quickly, I can say the words way faster than I can type them.
Then you have the people who use abbreviations (initialisms? acronyms?) so frequently that communication grinds to a halt. For example, I was trying to pick a cohort’s brain about a computer problem. I typed what I thought the solution was, and his reply was, “imho, yes.” “Imho?” I typed back. Then I teased him and texted, “mgype? E I E I O??” Finally I broke down and asked him what “imho” means, and he replied “in my humble opinion.” Sheesh!! So is this the way of the future? People are just gonna make up stuff in short hand and expect the other person to understand? I mean, Oh My God!! Where’s The Fish??
I still send out silly stuff; but since I’m no longer at work I enjoy sending messages to friends and family. You know, important texts like, “My nostrils have been coated with varnish again,” or maybe, “why don’t we go out for a nice cup of cabbage and celebrate the arrival of the New Dust Amplifiers?” I’ll shy away from the abbreviations, thank you very much.
If you don’t like it, SMT!! (Smell My Toes!!)
And now for something… completely different: