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RECENTLY I READ the other meaning for “WEIRD,” namely describing us as “Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic.” I do not apologize for this designation; we earned it fair and square.
This got me thinking, though, about other acronyms and related terms.
Definition. Merriam-Webster defines “acronym” as “a word (such as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term.”
Whew. (Which, by the way, is not an acronym; “Whew” is an onomatopoetic representation, a vocal imitation of a sound. A kewl word, onomatopoetic, from the Greek onoma, meaning “name,” and poiein, meaning “to make.” But I stray from the point.)
Acronym Versus Abbreviation Versus Initialism. Being the purist that I am, I like to distinguish among an acronym (like NATO, pronounced “nay-toe”), an abbreviation (like Dr., not pronounced “der”), and an initialism (like the unpronounceable FBI).
Computer-Lingo. On-line chatter has generated a wealth of all three linguistic categories, though initialisms seem to predominate. Here are several that come to mind. Maybe you’d like to share some of your favorites.
LOL. Lots of laughs. Which evolved quickly into ROTF, Roll on the Floor.
IMHO. In My Humble Opinion. Occasionally accompanied by OTOH, On the Other Hand.
WTF. This one is an expression of surprise not ordinarily used in polite society. OTOH, I had a dear friend who uttered this initialism as “What the f…,” with the gentlest of F sounds. She also came up with one of the funniest repostes to a bawdy comment: Joking around, I once made the classic boast, “I never paid for it when I was a kid.” Her response: “I never had to give it away for free.”
WWJD. Another unpronounceable initialism, “What Would Jesus Do?,” became an on-line query concerning ultimate ethical behavior. Its various interpretations included “What Would Jesus Drive?,” which, in turn, evolved into WWGD, “What Would God Drive?”
Here’s my favorite response to this last query:
NIMBY. I’ve heard this one pronounced “nim-bee,” standing for “Not in My Backyard.” Alas, it’s intoned in response to proposed nearby installation of something beneficial to all.
RINO. Wikipedia says, “In U.S. politics, Republicans in Name Only is a pejorative applied to officials elected as members of the Republican Party who allegedly govern like Democrats. Similar terms have been used since the early 1900s. The term is an acronym invented so that it is abbreviated to RINO and pronounced to sound like “rhino.”
RINOIMBY? Sure, the more, the better. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2021
IMHO LOL = “laughing out loud.”
Then came ROFL = “rolling on the floor laughing.”
Then came ROFLMAO = “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off”
I’m not making these up.
One you should definitely add is:
YMMV = “your mileage may vary”
Which is used in context as “you might not get the same results or have the same experience as I did”
IIRC = “if I recall correctly”
AFAIK = “as far as I know”
WYSIWYG = (pronounced “wizzy-wig”) = “what you see is what you get”
YOLO = “you only live once”
FOMO = “fear of missing out”
Yeah, I spend a lot of time on keyboards. LOL.
All great ones. I especially like “wizzy-wig,” to me the desired goal of any computer fiddling. It’s when I don’t get what I see that I worry.
Another favorite: GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out.
Per Paul’s observation, the basis of too many research studies and university government grants seems to be “What is the desired report, and then prove it!”
We’ve tended to undermine religion, law enforcement, educators and now too many politicians and scientists are marching in lockstep like lemmings.
I too am often called ‘weird’ and freely own up to it, even though I classify myself as a conservative independent, affiliating myself with a person and their values, not their political affiliation.
I’m always amused by labels, noting that in American politics, ‘progressive’ has changed meaning at least twice, and that around the world in politics “democrat” and “republican” often are applied to groups espousing the opposite of what they mean in the US … at least, today.
ROTFLLDI (Rolling on the floor, laughing like a demented idiot!)
(btw – When I was with the FBI, we’d be often referred to, mostly by local law enforcement, as “Fib-bees” … which found its way into Bureau conversations as well.)
VINO – Vertebrate In Name Only – to describe some politicians. This was fairly recent.
There’s a seniors version of ROFL –> ROFLCGU = Rolling on the Floor Laughing – Can’t Get Up