I need to explain something: why I HATE acronyms, why I desperately don’t like using them, and why the only exceptions are product names like DVD, VCR or TV. I honestly do not see the point, the second you save from saying the actual word doesn’t gain you anything. I can hardly imagine a teenager who has taken on acronyms will be able to use all that free time to do something great like climb a mountain because it’s such a tiny amount of time.
I also don’t think it adds anything to language. Many have suggested that acronyms, text language, etc are the evolution of language, but actually I think I find it to be a degradation of both the language itself and the people involved. By using acronyms such a LOL (most commonly known as Laughing Out Loud), LMFAO/LMAO (Laughing My F***ing Arse Off), ROFL (Rolling On Floor Laughing) you are suggesting something is funny, but there are so many ways to say it in our language already you are discarding interesting, deeper words for a slang term that is just popular right now. This doesn’t even take into account the confusion and mistakes that can sometimes occur due to misunderstanding what it means. For example, this was a conversation between my mum and I via text message:
Context: fearing a miscarriage as spoken about here having not yet happened, she is talking to be trying to comfort. You don’t need to read these, just know that it was a tough situation.
Me: Just quite freaked out.
Mum: It’s very hard waiting & not knowing, esp as nothing you can do. Not happening because of anything you’ve done. Won’t harm baby if false alarm. If start of miscarriage means not right from outset but no reason why next time shouldn’t be fine. LOL
Me: Mum, not a complaint but just to warn you, LOL to most of the world means “laughing out loud”.. I understood though.x
Mum: Oops, hadn’t heard that version!
If I had not been in a calm place, and not know her as I do, I could’ve been a little bit hurt by that. It seems simple but can you imagine receiving this from an acquaintance/friend/colleague: Sorry for you’re loss, LOL! Could mean that they are being spiteful, as some people are just for fun, or could be “lots of love”, which is how my mum meant it.
The wealth of language being substituted for TTYL (Talk To You Later), TTFN (Ta Ta For Now), BTW (By The Way), or IMO (In My Opinion) is stupid. It’s even more worrying that teenagers are finding it increasingly difficult not to use text language and acronyms in their exam work and essays. It gets worse when you are getting married or having a baby.
When you are busy, and getting busier due to planning what is often seen as the biggest day of your life, you really don’t want to have to learn a language before you can read the advice given to you. HM (HoneyMoon), RO (Registry Office), SO (Significant Other), HTB (Husband To Be), WTB (Wife To Be), MIL (Mother In Law), FIL (Father In Law), etc just confuse everyone and it took a decent portion of time when I was planning my own wedding to work out what each might be. I was just lucky to find Offbeat Bride, as the Offbeat Empire purposefully avoids acronyms as much as possible. Their reasoning is much the same as mine: they can be confusing, and exclusive.
“Basically [using acronyms] fulfills two important needs of insecure people: first, speaking a ‘language’ only known to a certain social group serves to exclude those not immediately in that group. Secondly, it confirms the bond to that very group and thus includes the person doing it.”
In Parenting Forums it can be just as bad as the Wedding Industry, if not worse. When you add exclusivity to an already tired, passionate, and opinionated group of parents all willing to give their opinion – you’re going to have a mess. And really, I just don’t see the point in acronyms. Does MC help me deal with a miscarriage? Does TTC give me some higher label of motherhood? No, not really, and it is likely to distant me from real people speaking real languages too.
So here’s my one and only acronym which I will shout to the world: SIWTBA: Stop It With The B****y Acronyms!!! It’s not clever, it’s not good, so what’s the point, just learn English (or equivalent language)!
- Why I Hate Parenting Acronyms (offbeatmama.com)