Friday, September 16, 2011

Pardon Me, But Do You Acronym?

Today is Friday, which is obvious to most people, unless you live on the other side of the international date line, then today is Saturday. However, for the sake of argument and for the sake of this blog post, we will state unequivocally that today is the former and not the latter.

So speaking of the former, let us explore the past eight days leading up to this particular post, which could be considered almost Seinfeldian when all is said and done, and which will become fodder for this post.

Last Thursday, I needed to run a couple of errands because I was going on a short road trip to my other office that I do my job in. Coincidentally, last Thursday was the night that my daughter's school had their first open house, so my wife and mother were going to be attending that. Since the elder child wasn't going to be home to do the babysitting thingy, the youngest was stuck running my errands with me.

So while I was driving to my local Cumberland Farms to pick up lunch for tomorrow (yes, they do have pre-made sandwiches and such, and believe it or not, the stuff is pretty decent taste-wise and price-wise), I decided to strike up a conversation with the youngest. Now if you're a parent, or just someone who deals with anyone under the age of 19, you know that trying to have any kind of meaningful conversation is about on par with smashing your head with a couple of bricks, except that with bricks, you know what the end result is going to be: concussion, stars, blurred vision, and finally, blacking out.

Anyways, I started off with my standard line, "So sweetie, how was school today?"

Vocals laced with music was the response that greeted me. So I tried a different approach and asked, "What's the song you're singing?"

She answered that it was some new duo that uses a text acronym for a band name (yes the actual name escapes me, but I think it's based on the acronym ROFLMAO). Anyways, that apparently jump started the conversation with my daughter, because we spent the next five minutes talking about text acronyms. However, self-censorship was in full force, because you know I wasn't going to explain to my soon-to-be 11 year old daughter what WTF & STFU & WTH (plus the variations) as well as the aforementioned ROFLMAO stood for.

Which left me stating that I knew what UR was and what OMG was (but I didn't explain OMFG), and that I really hated "lol" and its big brother LOL. Irritates the F'n crap out of me, but I blogress. Anyways, we finished up our litttle conversation once we pulled into the parking lot. I bought my lunch (ham salad wedge, kettle chips, Pepsi Max and an apple) picked up some oleo and a snack for the child, and headed home.

My friends, spending a car drive discussing text acronyms with your child should never be the highlight of your week, but in my case, it was. Why? Because it was one of the few times that I had a conversation longer than either ten words or seven seconds with my daughter.

I suppose it could be helluva lot worse, but honestly, the fact that I had something in common with my daughter made it a most memorable highlight, which is why I wrote about it today.

Instead of about this particular book, which I will talk about on Monday.


  1. I think I am the only one on the internet that uses "haha" instead of "lol" to indicate sarcasm.

  2. You find whatever common ground you can,I suppose. I had a son so we generally could talk about sports, and later, cars and motorcycles. Today we do talk about school types of things, and writing, and chess. It's nice when they grow up intelligent and curious about the world.

  3. That sounds like a nice little trip - and a good conversation.

    I never used to say "lol" but sometimes it seems to sum up what I'm feeling just then. :)

  4. You know what makes me go crazy and scream :|
    wanna, gonna, ain't :(

    English is dying a slow death.

  5. I used to resist LOL with all my heart and soul, but eventually I gave in to it. I figure our language is what it is today because it changed from the past (Ye Olde Englishe sounded more like German than what we know as English) so I may as well roll with the ongoing changes.

  6. Bearman: You may be right. Most people that I know, use "lol" or the more twisted "BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

    A friend of mine uses the "hahahaha" in e-mail conversations, but I never know if I'm being insulted or not.

    Charles: I have so little in common ground with both of my kids that I whenever I do find something, I latch onto it with both hands and whatever rope that I can find.

    Both of my kids are bright and curious about the world to a certain degree, but sometimes trying to find out what they like can be an exercise in futility.

    Lynn: It was a pleasant little trip and conversation.

    I will use anything and everything under the sun in order to avoid using the dreaded "lol" and/or "LOL".

    Chintan: Hate to burst your bubble, but good English over here is basically dead and buried.

    I have a tendency to save bad language like that for my blog and dialogue for my short stories.

  7. S.R.: I'm not overly fond of text acronyms to begin with. I used them exclusively in the chat rooms because you weren't allowed to use actual swear words, so you had to make do with acronyms.

    Since I don't do chat rooms anymore, I really don't have a use for them.

  8. Friends have had to explain nearly all of those to me. Sorry, I write LOL all the time! IWTNTIF (I will try not to in future.)

  9. So was she listening to LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem (Everyday I'm Shuffling) ?

  10. R: I only had to have the "lol" explained to me. Everything else I picked up on and modified for chat room use. About the only one that gets any use on my blog is "j/k" that Bearman and a few others use.

    I have a tendency to use OMG in the full form like Jonathan Higgins (from Magnum P.I>) used to use.

    Joe: Yes! I knew if anyone was going to come to my rescue it would be you. Many thanks, my friend!

    At least I knew who she was talking about, which was the catalyst for this entirely strange and fascinating conversation.

  11. I also use haha more than lol, don't no why since lol is closer together to type then haha....ummm haha

  12. Pat: "haha" is pretty harmless and quite the versatile text phrase.

    My friends use it quite a bit with me, because more often than not, some of the stuff that they write during the course of our conversation can be construed in a multiple of ways. When they tack on the "haha", then I know not to take what they say seriously.

  13. Imagine that, a language- based subject to discuss!
    I always used to talk about computer glitches n nintendo games with my youngest. Now she has 2 little boys n just talks about that n work usually.
    The older you get it seems the less there is to talk about...

    Driving used to always be the best talks with them tho- Glad you discovered that!

  14. Snaggle: That is so very true. The older you get, the less you do have to talk about.

    So I when I do have these types of encounters, I try to really savor the moment for as long as possible.


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