Tag Archives: acronyms

Hashing it out with Hashtags

When people hear I’m an editor, the first thing they often assume is that I’m the grammar police.

I am not.

However, I do love language and a little part of my soul dies every time I see it abused. And unfortunately, that happens every time I go on the Internet and am inundated with strings of acronyms and hashtags instead of actual sentences.

Now let’s get something straight.

I like Twitter. I like texting in small doses. I like Facebook updates that don’t involve a laundry list of your accomplishments, ailments or actual laundry list. But to each their own, I get it.

What I don’t get is how it’s now acceptable to stop actually using full words and stringing them together in these things that we call “sentences” to complete thoughts and instead abbreviating them to an acronym or hashtag.

Instead of writing something excitedly, people now lazily throw in #excited. They go with  #missingyou instead of writing “I miss you.”  And instead of adding a caption to the photo of their completely ordinary breakfast, you get 12 hashtags that make absolutely no sense and just look ridiculous–#breakfast #eggporn #toast #breakthefast #truth #food #idontevenknowwhatimdoinganymore #hashbrowns

Really? It’s come to that?

I’ve heard the excuse that it’s faster, but if you type “UR” instead of “you’re” and then add extra “Os” to indicate “UR SOOO happy it’s Friday,” I think that you’re blowing your cover—or that you don’t know which “you’re” you should use.

Simply #WTF

That combination hashtag/acronym above is my attempt at a segue into texting/online abbreviations, such as the ever-popular “LOL” that most often serves as a convenient way to end a boring electronic conversation.

Half the time these things make no sense — no one is literally rolling on the floor laughing their ass off (ROFLMAO), and if they are, they had best log off and seek immediate medical attention — and the other half of the time I have no idea what they mean because THEY AREN’T ACTUALLY WORDS.

So because I’m annoyed and am looking to change my world in some way—the rest of the world is up to you guys—I have proposed some more practical meanings to common acronyms that make more sense to me.

ROFLMAO: Ready? Okay. First Let’s Make Acronyms Original

WTF: Where’s The Food?

STFU: Scanning Twitter for Unfollowers

GI: Google It

IRL: I’m Relaxing. Leave.

RMBI: Read My Blog Instead

OMG: Overused Minced Garlic

BFF: Boobs Falling Flat

CRGOYDF: Conversation Required. Get Off Your Damn Phone

TTYL: Tea Trumps Your Latte

SMH: Swiffering My House

NIWYM: No Idea What You Mean

IMHO: I’m Making Hummus, Okay?

FML: Feeling Mighty Lazy

FWIW: Frequent Whining. I’m Writing.

ASAP: Attention! Send Abby Pesto

LOL: Laundry. Overflowing Laundry

BRB: Busy Reading Books

YJMTUYW: You Just Made That Up You Weirdo


FTW: F*@$ This Winter

Like the blog? Buy the books!

Any suggestions you would add to the list?

Use Your Words

Today’s post is brought to you by whoever decided that the “Milford” street sign in my neighborhood had suddenly graduated into something else a little sexier.


Let’s pretend MILF stands for: Masking Identifiable Letters Fashionably

It also got me thinking about how our language has become full of a bunch of words and abbreviations that almost seem like a second language in and of themselves, one that often mandates a (humorous and educational) trip to Urban Dictionary.

Because I’m an editor, I do read and write most things in AP style and have a few pet peeves when it comes to grammar and language. But the whole modern text/Twitter speak thing leaves me RME, which I recently learned is “rolling my eyes” and not just some dyslexic adaptation for “REM sleep” or a rock group. 

I know “RT” means “retweet,” but had no clue “MT” meant “modified tweet” and not “mountain time.” And although I am fully aware of the meaning assigned to “WTF,” I prefer it to mean “Where’s the food?”

Plus, I’m pretty sure people just start making up their own acronyms simply to confuse people, which makes me want to KTCOOT (kick the crap out of them.)

Now I understand that this bastardization of the language is going to happen with texts and Tweets and I’m not so old that I’ll complain about that. But just for the record, “was” is just as many letters as “wuz,” so there’s absolutely no excuse for that one.

Anyway, I am going to complain about the fact that some people have taken to using acronyms in verbal communication—as in, when talking face-to-face (IRL, for those of you confused by the verbiage.)

I’m not talking about the old school ASAP or FYI—those actually have a concrete meaning in the conversation—but rather things like LOL, ROFLMAO and OMG. In my opinion (IMO), they are just about the most ridiculous things adults can use in a conversation.

If you reply to what I said with “ROFLMAO,” I can clearly see that you are not actually rolling on the floor laughing your ass off and “BRB” is just as many syllables as “be right back.”

This epidemic has also spread into abbreviating other words that shouldn’t be abbreviated—“adorbs,” “obvs” and “addy” come to mind—as if it’s physically too much work to add on the extra syllables to say “adorable,” “obviously” and “address.”

Then there are those people who actually say ‘”hashtag,” as in “I ran into my ex— ‘Hashtag’ awkward!” This makes me immediately want to “unfollow” them so I don’t sink into the depths of language bastardization that leaves them sounding like Valley Girls…or a Target cashier. 

At any rate, I miss the days when people actually laughed out loud or completed whole sentences. Then again, if these things hadn’t crept up into our modern vernacular, a street sign with cleverly placed masking tape wouldn’t have inspired a ranting blog post.

And that, my friends, would have been totes ridic.


Like the blog? Buy the book.