We’re all guilty of these alphabetical shortcuts, however. How about ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC? Does anybody know what it means?
We can’t avoid abbreviations, mnemonic devices, jargon, texting shortcuts, emoticons, acronyms, initialisms and company logos. I did a tiny bit of research and apparently the practice of abbreviating goes back thousands of years. The Romans did it.
My Caps Lock key has assumed a new, higher status.
We all gleefully snap extra letters off words and substitute initials for oft-used phrases – AIDS for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; it saves typing 28 letters and everybody knows exactly what it means.
FAQ for Frequently Asked Questions; it saves 21 letters. RBI for Runs Batted In; saves nine letters. BYOB;15 letters. DOA; 11 letters. Clever, huh?
But these young people, the itchy, red-eyed texting maniacs, have overdone a good thing. What if JC (Jesus Christ) returned to earth? The youngsters would get the good news only after their BFF texted them:
“OMG, JC has returned. He’s touring NYC in a GM SUV and he just stopped at KFC.”
What if Big Foot strolled across the street at the next crosswalk? The texting generation would be so involved with their Blueberries or their Peapods or their Hobobooks or Kinkaids or whatever those things are called, Big Foot could skedaddle off into the woods before they glanced up from their itsy bitsy screens.
We seniors are hardly poised to criticize. I press my shift key more and more often while I’m typing (there’s an antiquated term!)
Does anybody bother to spell the words for FBI or ATM or NATO? CEO? AA? DVD? JPEG? UK? UFO? ATV? NFL and NHL? No.
We all know what the NAACP is, as well as the UAW and the AP and PETA and ADHD and NIMBYs and FYI.
Big corporations get cool nicknames and clever logos: IBM, CBS, AAA (sometimes called Triple A, but only
in spoken conversation, not in print.)
We give CPR. We test DNA. Students take MCATS and ACTs and SATs. Famous people (JFK and FDR and MM) have crunched names. We worry about STVs and HIV and eventually we wonder if we’re going to RIP.
At first I thought LOL meant Lots of Love. I wondered why so many of my email pals were suddenly getting affectionate. Duh. It means Laugh Out Loud. There’s even a superlative for it -- ALOL for Actually Laughing Out Loud.
OMG, Im getting so good at this. This blog is one-third as long as it would have been if I had spelled all these phrases.
By the way, ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC stands for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command. It’s a US Navy term.