Acronym Nightmares!

November 27, 2002

My hubby is fawnnnyy! He’s always saying things that trigger ideas for articles. He’s a computer and math type so I’m the one who bashes out the words:or as his PCA says, “Put together some more of those pretty words!” And here is the latest focus.

What’s the main common denominator below?

· I’m in AU and you?
· What’s your SIN? I need to check your PIN, and leave you an Email.
· Don’t forget to RSVP ASAP.
· You can buy this APR with OAC.
· My RV or the SUV?
· I’ll put you in my PDA.
· Do you have a B.Sc?
· My group is ASET
· Is it plugged in LPT1?
· We’re on MST; what time is it there?
· On MSN you say * ☺
· Larry’s funny. He makes me LOL and ROFL
· FYI, Here’s my LAN and WAN
· My LED is broken on my LCD
· I’m with the AMTWP how about you?
· OMG really?!

For those of us who have graduated to the modern world, the above is an example of our most common English based acronyms. I have no idea if the Chinese are doing this! We use acronyms for everything. Do you understand them all? I admit I had to ask the hubby about some of them.

“The more items we have to communicate with the less communicating we do!” says the hubby and I must agree.

When exactly do we communicate with long, full sentences? Is this a computer world version of shorthand? My girlfriend, Amity, is the ONLY person I know who actually likes to write real, honest to goodness letters. And get them. Ok. Let me clue you in. These are written by hand, on paper, by a pen and are sent through the Canada Post system! They have handwritten return addresses (although she gets everything sent to a P.O.) and knows all the codes as a died-in-the-wool HAM radio user. (Amateur radio for you picky types) She does email but she likes those “real letters” more. It takes time to write, to think, to draw little smiley faces by hand. And so few of us appreciate that effort. I know I do.

I had a client in for a Craniosacral Therapy treatment tell me she wanted to try to do her Christmas cards this year. She admitted it had been three years since she’s done them. I seem to be odd man out. I send them out and get maybe a handful back. I find myself wondering if I’d ever have a use for the Christmas card “trees” I find in the giant seasonal section every year. I’m afraid it would be a waste of money. Or maybe I’d just be embarrassed about the six cards sitting on a giant card tree!

Is all this short form stuff getting to be too much? Are we causing people to translate everything? Are we creating a new language, like all those, like kids, like talking, like you know, like: well you get the point.

Where did this start? Each of the wars used Morse code to translate secret messages. There were codes that were easy to crack and codes that were not. Most of these methods of communication are gone. Even modern day ships often use email, and satellite communications! But in this day and age of private cell phone conversations being tapped, and satellites being used for every transmission possible maybe, just maybe, it’s time to consider the safety of the old Morse code.


Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition of Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).