Does anyone here agree? 

I actually don't like to use LOL anymore.

I agree with the post below written by:

I recently got an e-mail from a friend with the following acronym in it: FMTYEWTK. Not being a frequent acronym user, I was a little confused as to what he was trying to tell me. Later in the letter he also used LSHMBH and WYSITWIRL, which made me wonder if I needed some kind of special Superhero Decoder Ring in order to translate his message. I realize we live in a world that is moving too fast, and people just don’t have time to write out entire sentences anymore, but come on!!! What the hell am I supposed to make of a bunch of letters strung together in a nonsensical fashion unless I’m already privy to the secret language it’s composed in?

I think some e-mail, text message and IM users have forgotten that some of us still live in the real world where communication means using actual words and phrases instead of generic fillers like LOL (laugh out loud) and ROFLOL (rolling on the floor laughing out loud). These two acronyms have been used so often, you’d think we had a nation of giddy idiots. Every time I see ROFLOL used in blog postings or in e-mails, I immediately begin to imagine what the person looks like as he’s rolling on the floor laughing so hard. And if he uses the abbreviation more than once in a paragraph, I’m tempted to call the local Psych Ward to go check him out. After all, if someone can’t control themselves from falling on the floor in a fit of laughter, they may have something akin to epilepsy, which is certainly nothing to laugh at.

And I also don’t think everything that someone says or thinks is LOL funny. I rarely laugh out loud, except in the privacy of my own home. So when someone describes their day, and uses the LOL acronym after every sentence, I begin to wonder how good their sense of humor actually is. “I went to see my mother. LOL. She was in the hospital. LOL. The nurse was very cute. LOL. I ate all her Jell-O cubes. LOL. She got mad at me. LOL. Told me never to come back unless I brought ice cream. LOL.” As with everything, less is more.

Another variation of this acronym is ROTFLMAOWPIMP, which literally means “Rolling on the floor laughing my a** off while peeing in my pants.” I don’t think I need to tell you what kind of colorful imagery that phrase invokes.

Students and twenty-somethings are probably the biggest abusers of this new form of electronic language, because they’re the ones obsessed with text-messaging their friends at every opportunity they get. A visit with my nieces now means frequent interruptions in our conversation; because they must constantly respond to the other five “text” conversations they’re having at the same time. Undivided attention appears to be a thing of the past, as multi-tasking conversations is now the “new Black.”

I guess I wouldn’t mind all the acronyms, if they were short and made sense. But right now, it takes so much time to figure out what each letter means that reading a simple one-paragraph e-mail might require a half hour of deciphering. Especially for someone like me, who falls into the “PCMCIA” category (People can’t master computer industry acronyms). And don’t get me wrong, I love a mystery. I just don’t think every e-mail should be akin to solving the Sunday Junior Jumble.

At any rate, I felt the need to expound on this topic for some reason. So for those of you who are also a little shaky when it comes to cracking an acronym, here are the meanings of the various phrases in the first paragraph. LSHMBH means “Laughing so hard my belly hurts” (Maybe you should go see a doctor about this) and WYSITWIRL means “What you see is TOTALLY WORTHLESS IN REAL LIFE!” (I can’t even imagine ever having the need to use this phrase, so I’m still not sure what my friend was trying to convey with it either.)

But perhaps the most important acronym is the very first one, FMTYEWTK, which means “Far more than you ever needed to know,” a clear reference to how I feel about the content of this post.

But that’s just me. What do you think about the overuse of acronyms?

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Replies to This Discussion

The post says "students and twenty-somethings are probably the biggest abusers of this new form of electronic language, because they’re the ones obsessed with text-messaging their friends at every opportunity they get." As a twenty-something myself, I'm incensed! High school students are far worse about this than we are. Such a broad generalization is infuriating. Or, as we twenty-somethings like to say, SABGII. To put it concisely, OAWTSLTS, SABGII.

Although yes, I do agree with the irritating and unnecessary overuse of acronyms. Personally, I refuse to use any such acronyms, even as simple as "LOL," when I write or speak. I do want to say to the author of that blog post, if you see acronyms online, just google them. It won't take any longer than googling a word that perhaps you're unfamiliar with. If you don't want to google the term, then stop reading. Done and done. (I'm glad he didn't bemoan the loss of the English language because of the use of these acronyms. That's a ridiculous point for other reasons.) Also, pointing out that the literal application of acronyms like LOL isn't accurate is inane -- exaggeration is ubiquitous. ("Everyone says," "there were like a million people there," and so on. Supply your own examples.) No one I know has ever actually ROFLed, or if they have, they're probably too embarrassed to tell anyone about about it. I might truly ROFL myself if I heard the story. On the other hand, many people I know have said things like "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," which is of course almost certainly false. But no one cares about that.

Hm. I think I'm sounding too critical. I'm trying to say I largely agree, but bellyaching about overusing acronyms is just as irritating to me as actually overusing acronyms. If that makes any sense. And now I'm bellyaching about bellyaching. Meta.

Yes, the overuse of acronyms, especially convoluted ones, is irritating to me as well. Occasionally I feel old and out of touch (and again, I'm in my twenties), but I just just try to figure out the most common ones and ignore the rest. But for all I know, the rest are making fun of people like me. I guess Ignorance is bliss, both in religion and in acronym usage. Though I think I'll simply say IIBBIRAAU from now on. That's much simpler, isn't it?

I would have to google all those acronyms Matt (except lol and rofl) .

Don't take the article so personally Matt. I think it is good that you refuse to use acronyms. I don't like using them myself.

I never used them.  My fingers aren't so crippled that I can't type out the words.

Also, PCMCIA is kind of stupid.  I'm in the computer industry.  We don't use that many acronyms.  PCMCIA is a laptop expansion slot (which I haven't seen as much, lately), not some stupid tween acronym.

Good deal Joseph!

Also, if you're not messing around with a network, you don't need to know what DHCP, DNS, and IP addresses are.  Even when you're working with the stuff, you don't need to know what the acronym actually stands for, just what the word as a whole means.

I say DHCP probably 4 or 5 times a day, and I say DNS several times as often.  It would take me 10 or 15 seconds to remember what the letters actually stand for, though ... particularly with DHCP, since D often stands for Domain, in I.T. acronyms, but it doesn't with that one.  The point of creating industry TLA's is to create an easily understood shorthand ... new, easily-understood words, essentially.

The kind of crap this article is referring to bastardizes the entire point of acronyms.

I have hated (yes, HATED) the abbreviation for "laughing out loud" from its inception, to the point where I simply refuse to use it.  Of all the abbreviations out there, it is overused about 10 light-years past the point of being ludicrous.  It appears to be some people's reaction to ANY input, which I find particularly disturbing.

Now I am not blameless here.  In chat I have been known to use BRB and ROFL(MAO, if it's REALLY amusing), and a few others here and there, but in the final analysis, I guess I'm old school.  I prefer properly structured sentences with REAL WORDS in them.  Sometimes it's hard enough to get someone's meaning in a venue where body language and vocal tone and inflection aren't available to further understand someone's attitude.  Clarity of expression in the written medium is at least a starter in the pursuit of understanding.

And while I'm at it, I am sick to death and gone of the word: "awesome."  There are OTHER ADJECTIVES out there, people!  USE THEM!

I am guilty of using the word awesome too much. I admit it.

I will get my Thesaurus out an look up some synonyms. Thank you Loren.


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