Saturday, January 24, 2009

TCOB & ROFLUTS (ok maybe just TCOB)

"P911 - OMG, WTF!" is text acronym jive for "Parent in the room - Oh my God. What the fahshizzle!" Don't mind me, I'm just brushing up on this pseudo sub-language in anticipation of Baby T asking for his/her first iPhone at 7 years old.

The text acronym phenomenon (or epidemic to some) has spread like zombies in 28 Days Later. The infection spreads quickly with the rapid increase in use of IM, crackberries, e-mail, and tomorrow's technological gadget that somehow expedites the speed of current communication channels. In 10 years, Apple will probably sell hats for $700 at Best Buy that detect our brain impulses and send messages telepathically to whomever is on your mind.

There are many who rant and complain about how text messaging harms our children's ability to spell properly and communicate effectively. Perhaps the self-righteous scholars of proper grammar are correct, but the trend to shorten words or phrases is not the blame of today's teenagers.

To me, receiving a handwritten letter or note by "snail mail" is one of the most pleasant surprises one may encounter in the course of a day - especially now in light of the many other faster, yet somewhat less meaningful ways of communication. Notwithstanding the sentimentality of letter writing, the sender and recipient understood an unwritten code of ABCs that accompanied correspondence. Exhibit 1: RSVP, SWAK, XOXO, P.S., SASE, and perhaps the most obvious example - postal abbreviations for each of the 50 states!

Of course, followers of the NYSE know how ATT, GE, IBM, and other S&P500ers did in yesterday's market. Everyone has watched movies on VHS using VCRs or DVDs using PS3s in HD after watching CNN, MTV, or TNT on their TVs. Doctors and nurses know BP, DOA, DOB, Rx, etoh, LBP, and ICD-9 codes. BTW, corporate America loves acronyms - ask anyone who works in an office about the many variations of their TPX reports. FYI, sports fans love their abbreviations: MVP, RBI, NFL, MCL, ESPN. In college, we had BMOC, ROTC, 420, and 34Ds. I could go on 4eva.

TMI or UGTBKM, u say? SS. I just TILIS. NALOPKT. Anyway, ^5s 2 all of u reading. DLTBBB. L8er SK8ers.

1 comment:

TimK said...

I believe that the popularity of texting is as permanent as any fad - it will soon be replaced with another short lived tech trend (remember video mashups, my god,hurry up and make one or 200 or else...too late - nobody cares anymore...) and will be hastened by the fast rising opportunistic crime rate due to economic malaise as people are getting hit over the head while they distractedly text, sashaying down side streets late at night or are being hit by oncoming traffic as they mindlessly text in busy traffic intersections, PLUS, there is a huge swing in the pendulum of accountability since we are all going to be broke very soon, had 8 years of screw you and let the next guy worry about bills coming due for everything under the sun, so a modified return to fundamentals will change the relaxed attitude towards the pop culture enabled, short handed, garbled grammar and purposely misspelled communications, especially if it confounds institutionalized societal structure in education, the workplace and home. Or I could be completely out of it and very incorrect, BUT I do see a whole of idiots texting in public while their handbags are stolen, lapsing in the basic social skills needed to hold face to face conversations, cars screeching to halts in attempts to avoid collisions and nerves becoming frayed when rude people ignore the social graces in elevators, lobbies, bars, shops, museums, etc. The breaking point will come when a plague of violence, injuries, theft, and rudeness come to a tragic and alarming head; this will be pointed to as an evil and will be demonized by some, be made obsolete by others and just passe to the rest of us. Then u can haz cheezeburger.