March 03,2016


It has been several months now since anything meaningful (if that is possible!) has been posted on my blog. Life’s challenges have been at least partly responsible for this but so perhaps has been a dearth of potentially interesting content; or perhaps more honestly stated, eligible thought and ideas.

Since this blog commenced in mid-2008, the practice has been to post on the blog a chapter or portion thereof from my initial book “Tales From The Underbrush.” Portions of my second book “MORE Tales From the Underbrush” continued this practice as did excerpts from my forthcoming book “Reflections From A Broken Mirror”, the publication of which is expected to occur later this month.

Deciding not to include any more book chapters has therefore left me bereft of immediate blog content, although some such exists, at least in my head, and to be possibly developed as future blog material.

In the meantime and in reflection of this title but with no permanent answer to the question, are some thoughts on a theme.


Back…..way back!..........in the days of my youth, the only abbreviation that I remember having common use was C.O.D. for “cash on delivery.” Can you imagine? Receiving an ordered item delivered to your door without first paying for it! And C.O.D. was never converted to the acronym “COD” as in one’s fish of preference or even as a preface to “piece.”

In the so-called modern era did it all start therefore with “FYI”?; that innocent “for your interest” abbreviation, closely but not quite approaching an acronym (fuyee?.....I don’t think so!) that I remember was used in e-mails long before the latter became nearly obsolete as digital phones conquered the world and texting, tweeting, instant messaging and the like have seemingly taken over as the medium of communication. This means of disclosure between two members of the human species has been coined as “social media”; one of the great contradictions of our time and where the practice and apparent preference for electronic interfacing has apparently largely overtaken actual “one on one” socialization; as in non-“selfie” face to face, as in “in your face” face to face!

Evolving from the latter has emerged a virtually new language; or should that be a new virtual language? Whatever its form and normally referred to as social media shorthand, it reminds me of the evolution of the English language from Chaucerian to Elizabethan to “Modern” English. Perhaps this latest version might be labelled as “post-modern” or “future modern.” Whatever it is and unlike the aforementioned versions of the language, this new variant employs certain single letters as well as certain numbers as self-sustaining words, either by themselves or in tight combination thereof.

Initially, after their meaning became universally established, abbreviations led the way, such as “OMG” for “Oh My God!” (and don’t forget that the exclamation mark, if not shown in the abbreviation, is definitely inferred in its translation).

“BTW” was substituted for “by the way” in an apparent salute to how often people lose their principal train of thought and have to back track to a forgotten item not mentioned at the time the train was on track but fell off as the consequence of one or more alternative trains of thought.

I trust those in the railroad business will forgive the awful attempt to construct a meaningful analogy using tracks and trains. I must have become derailed in the process.

Then there is “WTF” as in “What the F***!”; again making sure that the exclamation mark, if not appended to the abbreviation itself, is certainly assumed to be vociferously implied. Using the “F***” word instead of the real “F***” word is in shameful deference to the politically correct potential offence that might be given to some readers; a capitulation for which I don’t give a shit.

Oops! That was a bit contradictory!

Pursuing the subject on Google………where else in today’s world?...........I was gobsmacked (a good old-fashioned British word much disdained by many but usefully disgusting nonetheless!) by the number of modern acronyms and abbreviations that have penetrated the English language. Many are specialized in their use and reference but an equal number appear to have just taken their place in common, everyday written communication.

God forbid I don’t mean “real written” as in cursive writing, the practice of which I think my generation commenced being taught at about the age of five. Now, in some North American schools at least, cursive writing is no longer being taught at any age. Instead, gymnasium exercises focusing on the use of forefingers and thumbs seems to have been substituted.

I am convinced that one of the benefits of cursive writing is because instead of just tapping a computer key (as I am presently doing!), the more laborious and longer process of creating and forming words in the cursive manner in turn allows the development of more rational and creative thinking.

I will however not use this rationale to excuse the particular level of skill that my writings may lack!

With the evolution of social media has also come a style that begs the question of whether with it has come an age of impetuosity, impatience and brevity……………….of thought as well as language?

Nonetheless I will terminate this little essay by attempting to express myself in the modern manner, as in:


“How r u?”

“This is just 4 u.”

“Sorry I am L8 but so r u. In fact u r 2 L8 2 b on time.”

“So why r u L8? Were u w8ing 4 her to call u?”

“I noticed u j woking across the street. Had u been cooking Chinese food?”

“But that’s ok I guess. To b or not to b said Shakespeare.”

“We still have enough time to have t for 2.”

“Really? U G2G already?”

“C u L8r bro!”

“Me 2 I guess. G2G.”

Especially since many of my friends tell me “U of10 write 1 word 2 many.”

Despite those less than kind words I would write more but that is AFAIK.

You say you are going for a beer?

“W8 4 me!”



Copyright © 2016 Ian de W. Semple

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