Can we use fewer acronyms? Please?

OMG, LGTB, OCD, GAD, ADSL, PND, PTSD. ..

Where does it stop?

I used to think that I acquired an extensive vocabulary. Now I have to decipher my emails by constantly checking what those acronyms are about.

Do all those acronym lovers still know where the expression “OK” came from? Not to mention that the “OK” hand gesture is now a hate symbol, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.

May I ask you that if you wouldn’t say it out loud, not to use it anymore?

And for those who feel unjustly singled out because they belong to the millennial internet generation: the ivory tower builders aren’t a recent phenomenon. I illustrate with a pre-internet example;

abreviations latin

How did you feel – confused, stupid, unsure who to turn to decipher them?

If you don’t have time to communicate while using whole sentences, better don’t because:

  • It opens the door to miscommunication and misunderstanding,
  • you communicate exclusivity or an inner circle to which your correspondent may not belong to,
  • you alienate people by excluding them in a ‘shared language’,
  • you truncate and restrict the conversation – you’re not giving your correspondent an opportunity to explore understanding but are running on ‘automatic’,
  • potentially can give rise to false assumptions, where a meaning is imputed that isn’t correct.

9 Comments

  1. Whoa! (I hope this isn’t considered an acronym..🤣🤣)…..that example you gave of pre-Internet acronyms totally blew my mind. When thought about it in this context, it really is quite stupid and unnecessary that we use these weird shortened phrases when communication flows FAAAAR better while using proper words and complete sentences.
    I am going to make a decision to avoid using acronyms although I do Pride myself for avoiding them to quite an extent. 😎😎🤣🤣 I mean, I never say things like brb (I didn’t know it meant ‘be right back’ for QUITE a long time 🤣) and gtg and all sorts. And don’t even get me started on the whole trend of omitting the use of vowels to make words shorter like..what the HELL are you trying to achieve by doing THAT!? What’s wrong with saying “love” instead of “luv” and YOU instead of u? How much time did you save anyway? 🤣 OH AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE! SMH..what the fuck is ‘smh’ do you know? I still don’t.🤣

    Great post, as always!! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is generally assumed to be an acronym for ‘orl korrect’. OK caught on permanently when political supporters of Martin Van Buren – whose nickname was Old Kinderhook – turned it into a pun and popularised it in his successful 1840 presidential campaign. After the origin of the phrase had puzzled people for years, Professor Allen Walker Read pulled off one of the great coups of etymology when he tracked this down in the 1960s.

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      1. His etymology is pretty convincing, but even he admitted there might be alternative.

        Regardless, if the meaning of the acronym is actually different than what it supposedly stands for, can you really consider it an acronym at all?

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      2. In a strict linguistically sense, an acronym is a letter word also used in spoken sentences. Like NATO, AIDS, US, etc…In this sense, OK would qualify and I may have abused the term acronym to make my point out of intellectual laziness to look up the correct term.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Try to find your way around in a clinic. Even young nurses have difficulties with it and there exists a whole manual of abbreviations that is handed out to them at the start of their career. And the brand name IKEA became as familiar as a hoover for a vacuum cleaner.

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