Joined the 21st century this past December when I signed up for Facebook (FB). Already the lingo is giving me fits.
I get LOL. I like it. I use it. It’s clever.
But then came BTW, BFF, LMK, ROTF, TTYL, etcetera ad nauseum.
Nearly blew a gasket trying to figure out LMAO.
An acquaintance kept using it in her FB posts. LMAO this, LMAO that. What on earth was she talking about?
I conjectured a translation. Love My Agitated Orange? Lately Missing An Olive? My friends ROTFLOL before clueing me in.
Two friends, the would-be stand up comedian and the soon-to-be company president, have taken to making up their own acronyms. PIMP is their favorite. A relative of LMAO, PIMP stands for Peed In My Pants.
There’s FAIL and WIN, though I think those are still actual words not abbreviations.
There’s HTC, HMU, FML, among a dozen others my friend’s teenage daughter wields like secret code.
There are emoticons. Nice, but I can only stand so many smileys a day. Now if they were gold stars, that would be another story.
I see hash marks popping up everywhere the way Haley Joel Osment saw dead people in The Sixth Sense. There are asterisks and @ symbols behind every tree.
These glyphs gone wild seem to involve Twitter. I’ve asked for translation, though my requests go unanswered. The Twitterati are a sophisticated bunch. They hang with Ashton Kutcher, you know.
Confusion multiplies when acronyms from other parts of language wander haphazardly onto FB like cows wander onto train tracks.
Old school ASAP and RE appear without much fuss. But when I used GSO on FB to describe where I was, a friend promptly messaged, “What does GSO mean?”
Well in real life it’s an airport code for Greensboro. In FB world, I’m not sure what I said.
Another friend posted an ellipsis in response to a lively conversation we were publicly engaged in via FB. I had no idea what the ellipsis meant. Neither did Google. Had he just cursed at me? Called me an idiot?
After stewing a bit, I messaged him. What did this lone punctuation mark mean?
He explained he wasn’t upset. He simply had nothing to say to my last comment. So he chose an ellipsis, the language of superheros. Like what Batman would say to Wonder Woman in a comic book when he’s at a loss for words.
I had fretted over a fictional character’s made-up thought cloud. Go figure.
In her book “A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting,” author Hara Estroff Marano asserts we adults are digital immigrants while technology is the native tongue of our children (2008, pp. 220-221). The key to survival is adapting well in this brave new world.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? IDK, but I’m game to find out. RU?
Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights. Proverbs 18:15 The Message
A Tip from Batman
Got a pocket full of kryptonite? Does your kid want to wear a cape or shoot lasers out of his eyes? Free Comic Book Day is May 7th. This year is the 10th anniversary of what has become an international event. Participants enjoy sketches, artist appearances, and of course free comic books. Check your local shop for details.
Special thanks to Sofia Coppola and her friends ScarJo and BillMu for Lost in Translation, the only movie to give me jet lag.