In today’s society, we strive to save time. We want to be more efficient. “What’s a quicker way to do this?” We shorten words like “web log” into “blog”. Why not “wog”? Even shorter. With “wog,” we saved the trauma of having to make or think an “el” sound. That’s probably worth a whole twentieth of a second. Such a bother…
Maybe it actually started back in World War 2, when GIs, (Short of Government Issue (soldier)) were saying things like SANFU, “Situation normal, all effed up”. and FUBAR stood for “Effed up beyond all belief.” Like when two fighter planes were in battle it was a “dogfight.” When a whole bunch of planes were in a battle, it was a “Furball”. Those were descriptive phrases, born of necessity, because to stay on a radio for even an extra second could cost lives.
Did that lead to the shorthand kids use in texting? Or was it laziness? Sure, some of the shorthand is designed to baffle adults, especially parents and/or teachers. “POS” for example equals Parent over shoulder”, which actually means, “Nosey mom (or dad) looking at my screen so I can’t say what I really want to say.”
Or LOL. I hate lol. It’s gone mainstream so much its used sarcastically in TV commercials. For the guy who lives in that desert cabin 30 miles out of Las Vegas, lol means “laughing out loud”. Well, so does “Ha ha”. Would it really hurt to type “laughing”? I would even accept “laffing”
Let’s face it. All the time , and then some, you save short-handing is probably used up used correcting typos. (Oops… I used a shorthand word.) But in this case its ok (another shorthand). Most people can’t spell “typographical error”.
ROFLMFAO, is short for “I’m really laughing at that.” Actually its the acronym “Rolling on the floor, laughing my effing ass off.” Even that’s become mainstream. A rocker has taken part of this acronym and given himself the name LMFAO. Never heard of him? His music is the soundtrack for many Kia car commercials and for something called Kiss. Not only that, he just appeared on DWTS… oops, I mean “Dancing With The Stars” as a guest judge. Brought his own score paddles. Now, if that ain’t mainstream, I don’t know what is.
Maybe acronyming [word?] came about because until Steve Jobs and Bill Gates came along, we wrote things out in longhand. Longhand was a pain in the south-end, so making a little easier was considered just fine. We had typewriters of course, but now I doubt that a kid in high school or middle school would see one and wonder were the screen was. Do you remember how hard you had to push on a typewriter key to make is strike the paper properly? Do you remember the revolutionary electric typewriter? All you had to do was touch the key. Startled the older secretaries in the industry…
My grand-neice, a college student in the arts, can “thumb out” text messages in milliseconds. Texts fly in and out of her phone so fast the NSA can’t keep up with her. At the end of the day though, I doubt she has saved enough time to stand up, go to the fridge, get a coke, and return. Betcha that if she had texted in normal English, she’d still have time to go grab that coke… and maybe even a cookie.
We’ve saved time, though. Nowadays all you have to do is type a few letters to convey a message.
R U OK?