Family members have given me a lot of flak about my text-lessness but do I care? No. I do not. You want to communicate with me? Call. Or email. Or write a letter. Send a postcard. Send up smoke signals. Hire a plane to tow a banner. Tie a message to a carrier pigeon. Any of the above. But texting me will get you no further than the keyboard of your phone.
Going back two Sundays to another NYT puzzle, first Across clue, 3 letters: 'r U Kidding!'
Had to be OMG, and I was right, thank goodness because I wouldn't have known anything else to put in those three boxes. OMG along with LOL, BRB and TMI maxes out my knowledge of text abbreviations.
Acronyms are useful, things we see everyday, "words" formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term. Allow me to make a prediction: Some time in the not too distant future, languages uttered by humans will be based on an alphabet of acronyms. I mean, think about it. Why exhaust tongue and lips and the time it takes to select just the right word to convey your meaning in a spoken phrase when all you have to do is tap out the letters IMHO2G2BT?
Do not be impressed by that gibberish above. I had to use a Texting dictionary to form it. There are several such dictionaries, by the way. Or should I say, BTW? The most eye-opening and shudderingly educational were those whose target audience is parents. Kelly Wallace is a CNN correspondent of digital media and is editor-at-large for areas of family, career and life. She is the mother of two and after I read an her article she wrote earlier this year I was so very, very thankful that my child rearing days are long past. The article is titled "28 Internet Acronyms Every Parent Should Know". Not the innocent CML, LMK, WYCM sort. Much more...revealing than those. And from a parent's perspective, disturbing.
Being an Air Force Brat I was accustomed to hearing/seeing a few acronyms like: POW, MIA, TDY, USMA, SAC, TAC, COM, AWOL, SOP, CRC, NATO, DMZ
Knowing acronyms is very handy if you're a crossword puzzler which I am and have been since as long as I can remember. The four letter answer to: "Is part of SEATO" showed up in a puzzle last week. These days anyone can learn anything by "Googling" it so the answer to this clue could be easily found if a puzzler didn't know what SEATO stood for. Or that the
only four-letter word it contains is Asia.
And yesterday, in the Los Angeles Times Sunday puzzle this three-letter clue: "NORAD grp." Answer: SAC
Not an exact acronymic depiction of the organization, North American Aerospace Defense Command (originally NA Air DC), but I knew that the Strategic Air Command was part of its history. If all that had been spelled out, 36 letters for the clue, 19 for the answer, the LA Times would've had to use a lot more ink and paper.
Oh, I almost forgot about another text message shortie I learned from working a Los Angeles Times puzzle.
The clue, four letters for "As Far As I See It" .
The answer: IMHO - in my humble opinion.
Add that to 2G2BT that I mentioned in the third paragraph and you've got, In My Humble Opinion, Too Good To Be True.
ACL, TIA, BID, TID, QID, PRN, CPR, TSH, MV, AV, LV, RV, EF, COPD, ATP, AI, AS, HDL, LAD, RAD, RPA, LPA, LBBB, RBBB, MVP (not Most Valuable Player), CAD, CVA, MI, PA, CABG, IHD, VSD, SOB (now, now, not what you're thinking!), SVC, IVC, PTCA, SVT, ST, NSR, PAD, LVH, RVH, RVOT
So these acronyms are sensible, right? Necessary to the professional using them and vital for the people they're trying to help in a timely manner.
Such can't be said for using:
IMS instead of apologizing, or
LY4E instead of expressing eternal love, or
showing concern by asking RUOK, or
promising a future chat with TTYL
*Do you know what it means?
What's your opinion of our world of abbreviated communication?