One thing the technological age brought with it is acronyms, words formed from the first initials or parts of other words. We baby boomers knew that many of the words in the 1960’s were acronyms. NATO is North Atlantic Treaty Organization and NASA, one of the big words of the 60’s, was and still is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
We used other acronyms without sometimes realizing they were such. Part of this was because sometimes these were added to our dictionaries and our lexicon as words and not written in all upper case letters. Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Another example is scuba – Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
Our military loves acronyms and abbreviations and provides us with many. JATO is Jet Assisted Take-Off; a system that gives extra lift to propeller-driven cargo planes to gain altitude quickly when taking off in a hostile environment. Some aren’t from the first letters of the name, but made from contracting portions of the words in the name. NORAD is North American Aerospace Defense Command.
I heard recently that the USA Patriot Act was actually an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. And there are others from our military that I don’t even understand like MARCORSYSCOM, CINCPAC, COMPACFLT and NINCOMPOOP.
Now, with the age of the Internet, there comes a whole new generation of acronyms designed out of necessity due to the restricted number of characters allowed in a text message and the younger generation’s natural inclination to laziness accompanied by a short attention span.
Some of the more popular ones are:
- LOL – Laughing Out Loud (At something someone else said/typed)
- OMG – Oh My God
- WTF – What the F#^*
- BFF – Best Friend Forever
- ROFL – Rolling On Floor Laughing
- THABTO – Two Heads Are Better Than One
Some of them get pretty obscure but there are hundreds of them and all the kids use them. Sometimes they even revel in those occasions when I have to ask them the meaning of NMH (Nodding My Head), for example. Why not just say yes?! Why do they have to make up acronyms to say nodding my head when yes has the same amount of characters? And they act so smug about it when they reply, with exasperation, and explain the meaning of their acronym; inferring I’m old and not hip (or whatever word means hip nowadays!).
So, to put them in their place(s), I’ve developed my own list and I use it daily.
- WIMR – Where is My Remote?
- WDIP – Where Did I Park?
- DISDAC – Do I Still Drive A Car?
- TLB – The Lousy Bastards!
- WYIO – Why You I Oughtta…
- WTMR – Who Took My Remote?
- YKGOML – You Kids Get Off My Lawn!
- YKGAFMTC – You Kids Get Away From My Trash Cans!
- DIHACU – Do I Have Any Clean Underwear?
- WIWAKWLTOETRMOAS – When I was A Kid We Listened To Our Elders… That Reminds Me Of A Story…
- IMDWJDABOT – In My Day We Just Dropped A Bomb On Them.
- WAITOOWMICITH – Why Am I The Only One Who Makes Ice Cubes In This House?!
- WDICIH – Why Did I Come In Here?
- TPASS – These Portions Are So Small!
- ISLFMR – I’m Still Looking For My Remote!
- IGMG – It Gives Me Gas.
- PMITMH – Pardon Me, Is This My House?
- WCIAACOTDI – Why Can’t I Answer A Call On This Damn iPhone?
- IHISGHTOTP – I’ve Had It! Somebody Get Harry Truman On The Phone!
- HIAT – Hello?! Is Anybody There?!
- WPMRIMBP – Who Put My Remote In My Back Pocket?!
- GDISWPTRIMBP – God Dammit! I Said Who Put The Remote In My Back Pocket?!
- WINOLTM – Why Is No One Listening To Me?
Feel free to use these on your kids. DIHACU?