I don’t LOL. I am not an ROFL kind of person either. And I definitely cannot BRB.
Call me stuffy, call me old, but I’d much rather key in “yahahahha” to express my mirth than use acronyms. LOL for instance: It’s become such a … thing… that people don’t even think before using it. Most places, I’ve seen people just smile, but actually type out LOL. And, hold your breath here, I’ve actually heard someone say it aloud, while snickering at a completely undeserving joke.
Joker: “So you heard the one where……. “
Joked at: (GiggleS) LOL that’s really funny, man. Good joke.
If that wasn’t bad enough, they looked at me for reaction and when all I did was smile a little, they said, “Oh, you didn’t get the joke?” See, now I don’t want that to reflect on the people I hang out with. More often than not, the people I associate with are really smart, don’t assume I didn’t get the joke (even if I actually don’t sometimes) and definitely don’t say LoL. My people actually just laugh or tell me to buzz off if the joke really isn’t funny. Even if it’s terrible, they’ll drown my in a pot of tar but they’ll never tell me TTYL, thank god.
But then, I digress, as is my wont. This is not about jokes. I have nothing against jokes; in fact, sometimes I even appreciate them. Even though I am a right royal tragedy at narrating one. That’s an art, readers, an art that very few have. And I belong to the majority.
This post, however, is about acronyms. As far as I can remember, I’ve detested acronyms. Maybe, because like everything else that I didn’t like, I wasn’t good at remembering the expansions. Many a general knowledge test certificate in my past display slightly decreased marks because I just couldn’t expand wretched things like UNIKANTREMMBR or UNISFRIDJUTS.
When I moved to India as a young and totally clueless teenager, I was amazed at how many short-forms people used in conversation. I remember a friend in college once saying she was going to TP to get an FP. It completely threw me. Apparently, all she said was she was going to T(something) Plaza to get a Fountain Pepsi.
I am not so big on sodas so that could be one reason I didn’t know the usage. But honestly, I didn’t know that thing was called “fountain” Pepsi at all. Where I grew up, unless you bought yourself a can, everything came out of the “fountain”.
That was just a precursor to sooo many short forms that it led me to believe that we Indians like to shorten everything. A calculator was called a calci, a computer, comp. These days I’ve even heard a laptop being called a lappy. Like a puppy who sits on your lap.
I know all of us who twist and turn the English language (including Arundhati Roy who dedicated The God of Small Things to her mother who “grew” her up) love the argument that English is an evolving language with as many dialects as there are countries who use it. But there’s got to be a limit, no? Otherwise what’s to say that a word that is wrongly used today will become the right word to use tomorrow, because 1 billion Indians (and counting) are using it everyday. Case in point: Over and over again, I’ve heard people ask me if my husband and I have siblings. Why, yes we do. How old are they? When we tell them there’s utter shock and disbelief. And we’re a little taken aback. They ask us, your children are that old? And we ask them, when did we start talking about children? Turns out, they meant offspring and not sibling. But they assure me I am the one who misunderstood.
For me, shortening words such as demonstrated in the above paragraph is inexcusable. I can’t even shorten names to call people, however long their names are. I used to be nazi-ish about that earlier but I force myself to not stick to it these days because, what do you know, a lot of people prefer being called Spaz instead of Spandana.