Friday, June 29, 2007

WTF does it mean if someone is LOL with their BFF?

I hate all of these little abbreviations. Can't people just write in English? People are even starting to speak in these nonsense terms. I can't make sense of half of it.

Science fiction writers used to imagine that the English language would change over time, for all sorts of odd reasons. Some thought that we would all learn some kind of multilingual shorthand to communicate with people from other countries, and that we would either add a lot more foreign words to English or perhaps give up speaking English altogether. Some thought that we would shorten words or phrases to conserve oxygen. Some thought that we would add or change to sign language because of all the noise.

I don't think any of them predicted that the language would change so quickly because of idiot teenagers sending text messages.

I hate cell phones and people who talk on cell phones a lot. Cell phones for doctors and other people who need to be reached quickly in an emergency is a good idea. Having an emergency phone in case your car breaks down is a good idea. Having a phone so that you can call for help if a date goes bad is a good idea.

Having a phone conversation with one person while you're supposed to be having dinner with someone else is NOT a good idea. Having someone from work trying to call to say something that can wait till business hours is NOT a good idea. Waiting till the last minute to tell people stuff just because you can probably get their cell phone is NOT a good idea. Making a phone call while you are mere inches away from me in a public restroom is NOT a good idea.

So I already hated the cell phones. Now I'm getting the nonsense abbreviations in my emails, from adults. If someone wants to say something, why do they need to type IMHO? I've already forgotten whatever your opinion was while I'm trying to figure out what is an IMHO.

A friend of mine feels the need to put IMHO opinion in almost all of her emails. One day she was saying something about inconsiderate people at work who leave stuff a mess in the break-room. She meant to send it out to the usual bunch but accidentally sent it to everyone at work, which wasn't really a bad idea anyway considering the content of the email. But half these people were not used to getting my friend's emails with IMHO, and they didn't know what IMHO meant, and rather than talk about the break-room situation they emailed back and asked her what IMHO meant. And a couple of people emailed back and asked if she really was a ho and why did she feel the need to share that with everyone?

When I was still pretty new to the whole blog thing, I left a comment on someone's blog and checked back later to see if they wrote a response. LATS was in the response, and I didn't have a clue what LATS meant. I asked a few people, and I emailed my friend who writes IMHO in most of her emails, and no one knew what it meant. And I googled LATS and found stuff about library software and exercises aimed at certain muscles and stuff about the Latin American Thyroid Society, but none of that had anything to do with the blog comment. I just couldn't figure it out, and I gave up.

A couple days later I saw it again and figured out that LATS meant me.

My husband had a blog before I did, and that was what led to the whole mess last year. So he's not supposed to blog much anymore, not supposed to spend so much time on the computer, and he's not supposed to talk to strangers on the Internet, etc... I said that he could come home and we could work on our relationship, but there were conditions. None of the conditions have been met, and he just went and got a new blog.

Well, he doesn't like the new blog as much, cause no one was reading it and no one was leaving comments. So one day he came over here and left a comment, and like most people he left a link to his blog. I deleted the comment. He's not supposed to communicate with other bloggers at all, and he's certainly not allowed to come over here and snag some of my readers. He can comment under a different name without the link, and I don't link to his blog either.

Having set that rule, I shouldn't try to snag one of his readers. He finally got a comment, and it was from a published author. I was a bit jealous.

That didn't come out right, did it? I've had comments from a published author too. And now that I think about it, I've had comments from more than one published author. But this was someone whose name I recognized, someone I knew of as an author before I knew of him as a blogger. To be honest, I have yet to connect the author's name with anything I remember reading, but still, I did recognize the name and thought that was very cool.

But, since I had already made this rule, I can't leave comments on the author's blog that link back to my blog.

Anyway, I had been thinking about writing this post for a while, and what finally got me to write it was I started commenting on something the author said about the new cell phones from Apple. So there it is. I don't like cell phones or all these abbreviations, and I really hate that adults are going along with this trend started by idiot teenagers.

One last thing. I'm sure David is familiar with TANSTAAFL, and probably Dmarks knows about it too, but does anyone else know what it is? Does anyone try to use it in a conversation that isn't about one of the books it's from? My husband uses it once in a while and looks at me funny when I don't immediately get what he's saying.
It is now a year later, and I've noticed many lost souls come here trying to find out what the text message WTF means. If you still don't know, it stands for -- what the f**k? And while we're at it, IMHO is short for -- in my humble opinion.


dmarks said...

Yes, I know what TANSTAAFL is. I associate it with Larry Niven, which might not be correct. Better not cheat and use Google. Did anyway; wrong author. But it turned out to be my 2nd guess.

The Diva's Thoughts said...

I have no idea what it means myself so I will be checking back to find out.

evil-e said...

I hate these cute little abbreviations. I have been on a mission to purposely not use them altogether. Text messaging, dead air conversations, abbreviations, and all of this other crap is cheapening an already cheapened language.

It's bad enough people dis me cuz i don't has no bling bling. Now they are going to put it in some sort of dumb assed code.

Great post laughingattheslut!

evil-e said...

I forgot to chime in on the question...TANSTAAFL...looks like I "ain't" eating.

Thanks, you gave me an idea that I might just have to continue on.

dmarks said...

I totally grok the post and comments.

Babybull40 said...

Interesting post.. it sesms that the english language become lazy and the way we use words.. whether to shorten to an abreviation or it's because we can't be bothered to talk like people.. I have a cell phone and I use it for emergencies and if I need to call The Big hairy Man.. They have their uses.. But I certainly don't like to see people talking on them while driving.. They are morons...

Babybull40 said...

I just noticed a spelling error.. oops... it seems that the english language.. there that's better..

David in DC said...

TANSTAAFL indeed. Thank you laughing, brought a smile to my face.

On a related note, the coiner of that acronym once put these words in the mouth of a character who made his living gambling at cards:

"I teach lessons in probability to optimists."

laughingattheslut said...

I knew that David would know TANSTAAFL.

I think he introduced himself on another blog as "one of the old guys who reads Heinlein."

Mark J Daniels said...

ROTFL! (sorry, couldn't resist.) I know what you mean; I hate text abbreviations. When I text I always use full grammar and punctuation, which really annoys some people because it goes in to two messages instead of one.

I know some people who, despite having got some of the highest qualifications in English Language, insist on using text abbreviations in their e-mails.

Unfortunately, though, I have no idea what TANSTAAFL is!

laughingattheslut said...

Unbelievable. This thing actually worked the way it is supposed to and emailed me when someone left a comment on an old post.

Wondering how you found it in the first place, but never mind.

I don't know what ROTFL is either.

TANSTAAFL is from books written by Robert Heinlein, such as The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Mark J Daniels said...

ROTFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing. ;-)

And I found the post because it shows up in the Popular Posts link on the right of your blog... all posts, of which, I have quite enjoyed reading.

laughingattheslut said...

Well, thank you. But do you mean to say that you've read all of the popular posts?

I'm afraid I'm not always all that funny. Lately the blog has been mostly boring stuff like what is going on in ceramics class.

I'm guessing you came here after finding Dame Honoria's Diary?

Anonymous said...

LOL your retarded.

lol started from aim and online gaming... some of it even derived from 1337 5P34l< (leet speak) not text messages. us kiddies were inventing this shit before our parents would even give us cellphones. rofl. only dumbass middleagers use acronyms in texts... because we all have expensive cellphones now that have a little thing called t9.... guess you havn't heard of it lmao.

gtfo ttyl


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