Ponder this:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shorthand

A dear friend, who is usually a great devotee of Real Words, recently signed off on an email with "tnt." I sat looking at "tnt" for a few minutes, trying to translate it into a phrase that I might recognize.

talk 'n' talk?

take no tschotchkes?

thanks 'n' ta?


The last came closest to making sense, but I had done nothing to justify an expression of gratitude. SWAK must have been around practically since the first loveletter, and everybody knows TGIF. I recall KISS from a Dale Carnegie course I took once. After having seen the thousandth repetition of some television commercial featuring an insolent preadolescent girl, I finally was able to remember that bff meant Best Friend Forever. But for tnt I needed interpretative assistance, and after a short search I found The NetLingo List of Acronyms & Text Message Shorthand, and learned that tnt is shorthand for Til Next Time.


Okay. I can live with that.


But who on God's green earth would bother with WDYMBT when "huh?" would be clear enough?


If not whispered into a beloved ear, shouldn't BTWITIAILW/U or IWALU rate complete written sentences? Do the expressions' brevity indicate the depth of the sentiment? How sincere is FTBOMH? Imagine Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning exchanging the passion of LYWAMH!


Is AGB in danger of becoming a road sign? Might I pass a warning, "AGB" just prior to my car's plunge through rotted planking into cold rushing water? Or is written on dental charts all over the United States, and of immeasurable use to DDSs?


Honestly, what need is there for "BJJDI"? Is Billy Joel wandering around the countryside, dropping in on people at random?


The whole thing makes me feel curmudgeonly.

GMAB. BHIMBGO, because it all looks like a CWOT and ITIGBS. IOH.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Charmed, indeed, to be alluded to! And you're right, an e-neologism is something I would rarely use. In these days of minute-to-minute communication, I fear the farewell may just fade out entirely.

Carolynn said...

I used to date a guy who would do that all the time in his usual spoken dialogue. It drove me nuts.

The best net abbreviation I've heard is:

AIYDBMLIU.

(And, if you don't believe me, look it up.)

No, that's what it means... ;o)

Tigerbi said...

TWAVEP !!!!!!!!!!!

Linda and her Twaddle said...

A great deal of it is FOBS.