I’m 41 years old okay. Most women will not admit their age, but I’m doing it right now. I’m a 1974 kid and I will tell you things have changed. We all had our own type of “secret language” growing up as kids, a way of talking in code to make it easier or so that others wouldn’t know.
We had Pig Latin, some of us even thought it was cool to speak Binary–yes I said it, we did. Others had Call Signs, we even brought in our favorite geek fandoms into it like our beloved Trekkies. No, I’m not one of them, but you get my point. Then the dawn of the internet and mobile phones. Text messages became a new format for language.
Grammar went out the window all in the attempt to get as much information out in as little characters as possible thanks to applications like Twitter. The older you became, the more left out you felt in not knowing what the crap being said meant. I remember for the longest time, I had NO IDEA what the hell “SMH” or “SMDH” meant. I kept trying to figure it out.
You see, I was exposed to lettering in such a way that appeared on a dating ad. SWF, SBF, SBM, SBF, SBBF, SBBM, SBWF, SBWM, SGWF, SGBF, SGBM, SGWM, and the like. It took one of my friend’s Josh to explain to me what it meant; “shaking my head” or “shaking my damn head.” That’s a HUGE difference from “single male hooker” or “single male dick-seeking hooker.”
You see my point?
I’m a parent to three boys between the ages 15-21 years old. What things mean to my 21 year old, do not necessarily mean the same thing to my 15 year old freshman. Teenagers are prime examples of our ever changing language. With our grand-parents, the word “groovy” was used. Who uses it now? No one.
Language is forever-evolving, slang is forever-evolving, and so are acronyms.
When’s the last time you purchased a dictionary?
Would it surprise you to know that if you haven’t within the past 5 years, it includes slang terms, internet terms, and the like? Words like “blog” are now in the dictionary. Words you’d never believe you’d find in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary are there now, so beware Scrabble players.
I work in the Video Game industry as a journalist and I’m a Game Design Student. I’m constantly surrounded by peers who are capable of being my kids if I got pregnant a bit younger than I did. Thanks birth control pill, you failed me! I have 6 total college degrees for English, Computer Science, Web Design, and C.A.D.D. I’m currently working on my 7th for a Bachelor of Science in Game Design. I love student loans (strong sarcasm here).
I love what I do and I love the people I work with. My job was a God send after things in my life took a drastically different turn. Yet, the challenge I constantly face is the forever-evolving language. Acronyms being a big one. I’m always finding myself double-checking meanings just to make sure I’m “in the loop” so-to-speak so when I’m covering an article I know exactly what I’m doing.
It’s frustrating that when I do ask on the meaning of an acronym, I’m on the receiving end of a snooty or sarcastic response as if I’m the idiot. The “asshole” in my head wants to reply how I would normally reply on the street to such a response, but I cannot since it is work–I’d get fired. Is it wrong to expect others to be considerate to the age of whom their replying to? To remember that sometimes things mean differently to others? Is that too much to ask?
It’s apparent that I’m a bit ticked off and also feeling a bit disrespected. I can very well be over reacting, but it caused me to bring up some valid points.
I wish everything was universal, but unfortunately with language always evolving, that cannot always be.
If you didn’t figure it out yet, GFTS: Go F$#@ Themselves.