Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Dreaded Acronyms Have Invaded My Brain

I was talking to a friend the other day and I was telling her about something someone said to me that made me laugh out loud. But instead of saying “laugh out loud” I said “LOL.” 

And then I caught myself. I actually said “LOL” instead of the complete words.  What just happened, I wondered.

Apparently, texting acronyms have officially invaded my brain. I never thought this would happen to me.  Why?  Because I was the last of the purists who spelled out things like “laugh out loud” and “talk to you later” when texting or sending messages.  It's a very good thing my cell provider doesn't charge me by the character, because my texts are freakishly long and detailed. 

I was proud to say that I have never used the acronym “BFF” as in, “My BFF and I went out last night and did tequila shots.”

Not that my BFF and I would be out doing things like tequila shots. After all, we’re no longer in our 20s.  Nor are our livers. Ah, but those were the days, weren’t they?  We were young and carefree and…

…but I digress.

I was talking about the overuse of acronyms and about how I am ashamed to say that I have succumbed. 

It’s not like the Internet or cell phone users came up with the concept of acronyms. They’ve been around forever. Well, maybe. I can’t say for sure since I wasn’t around during the days of caveman communication. Perhaps they carved, “BBS” for Be Back Soon on their cave walls to let their cavewomen know they were heading out to hunt mastodon.

But for sure we were familiar with acronyms well before the World Wide Web and smart phones entered the picture. I mean, everyone knows what “CIA” stands for. And “FBI.” And “CYA.”  And even “FUBAR.” 

I think the last two were coined by the military. Perhaps they started using them when they didn’t want to swear in polite society? 

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s inevitable that we start saying LOL instead of laugh out loud.  I mean, we rarely say “Federal Bureau of Investigation,” do we? No, we say, “FBI.”  It’s easier. It’s quicker.  And our tongues don’t trip over the words. (Go ahead, say it out loud fast. The words simply don’t flow.)

But still. It makes me uneasy.  Are we going to turn into a bunch of acronym-slinging Americans? Our grammar and spelling have already become atrocious.  But whenever someone is called out on their spelling errors, they use the excuse that they are sacrificing accuracy for expediency. Well, not really. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t spell any of the words in that sentence correctly.

Nevertheless, you get the gist.

Those thumbs have to text quickly or the recipient will have already moved on to the next text and the next texter.  Spelling, grammar and coherent thought aren’t routinely taken into consideration.

Have you ever taken a look at some of your texts? Just scroll back through your communications with someone. They read like parts of thoughts and fragments of sentences and make very little sense when reading weeks or months later. And “LOL” is usually peppered throughout the communication.

Ah well. It could be worse. We could have absolutely no sense of humor about anything and instead of using “LOL,” we could insert frowny faces. That would not be good.

So I guess I should just relax a little. Communication in one form or another will always be with us.

I may just have to adjust my expectations, albeit reluctantly. Very reluctantly, my friends.


No comments:

Post a Comment