Thursday, April 23, 2015

TTYL!



TTYL! Now this holds promise when you surgically remove the exclamation point, most often sturdily attached to it. No need for that much excitement, now is there?

I like receiving it in a text because rather than thinking your conversation is permanently suspended, handing out in mid-air, finding TTYL as a salutation is an indication that whatever was being discussed is in the 'to be continued' status, whether it really happens or not is another matter entirely.

I learned to text from my kids and I'm not ashamed of it. I celebrate it even though I'm learning some of it is called text speak, and it is despised by some. You know what I mean; peppering the text with things like U2 and using 4 to stand in for four.




My inclination was to call TTYL, short for talk to you later, an acronym and then I thought, no its an an initialism. Then I thought no, it's a pseudo-blend. As usual, first thought was the right thought, at least according to wikipedia.

I know my wordy followers are saying, you've got to be kidding me. You like that stuff? I would never! But we all do. Sure, you might not say BFF but you'll use it to describe your alma mater, take UCLA for example, who has time to say all those words? They also flourish with utility and other companies, cable and television networks--HBO any one? There are plenty of other common uses. Ok/okay?

So when I learned to text from receiving my kids' texts I was quite amused or shall I say befuddled because I love words. What's happening to the English language I asked myself and moreover, what does all this scribble scrabble mean?




In the beginning, I had a flip phone and then a slide phone. Can anyone say awkward? Those earlier models of cell phones made me gravitate towards acronyms, initialisms and text speak. Whatever could get the job done and get me off the damn phone. Short cuts made the whole blasted thing easier on my fingers and eyes.



It didn't take long for me to get called out. My faux pas was in accepting an invitation by text to a party using this strange, some would say excuse, for language. No one said anything to me directly. It was to my husband, "Did your wife learn to text from your children?" Cheeks hot, I thought, yes--and?!

It's no secret. People of my generation are thought of as analog dinosaurs when it comes to the newer technologies, and ways of toying with the language for that matter. If it wasn't for my kids, I'd probably still have dial up rather than a cable modem. I'd be faxing (okay, you caught me, sometimes I still do) instead of scanning. Much to the chagrin of my overused wrists and fingers, I would look upon initialisms and text speak with disdain. Had the reviewer of my text ever heard of writer's cramp? What about how busy writers multitasking on various social media platforms all while returning texts feel? This mom wasn't in a good mood after that swipe.

Okay. Lest I turn into Erma Bombeck (if only) let me sign off.

GTG.
TTYL (minus the exclamation point of course).



Notes on my Theme:

This post is written for the 2015 A to Z Challenge. During this challenge, participating bloggers post once a day, in alphabetical order. This is done 6 days per week. Sundays are off. My theme presents words that are exciting. These words serve as thematic motifs in my writing. My theme also revolves around exclamation points. The words I've chosen to explore can replace or stand alone from the dreaded exclamation point, which writers are urged to avoid.

18 comments:

  1. I think it's fun and convenient to use acronyms/initalisms in texts and FB messages/statuses. I use them all the time for that, and I don't care what anyone thinks about it. At least I don't use them in my books. Well, if I write a YA book and my characters text then maybe I will. ;)

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    1. Agreed. I was in a writing class where one of the participants created an entire fiction book made of emails passing back and forth. It was very interesting. As writers, we never know what tools we might need.

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  2. I think text speak is fine unless you go overboard. My cousin went through a phase where she went WAY overboard. She wud rit lyk dis as well as using acronyms and I basically had to sit there for five minutes trying to decipher what she was trying to say. Lucky, she grew out of that phase :P
    TTYL

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    1. Oh my. That does sound like a bit much.

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  3. WOW! (words of wisdom!) Exclamation mark used. I'm befudlled most of the time and these acronyms - like the ones in your graphic - befuddle me more! A few I know, btw, fyi. HTH is the name of swimming pool chlorine granules, at least here in South Africa. When the Kindle came out I was very disdainful, no longer. Years and years ago when emailing came onto the scene, I thought I would never ...
    Now, I Really GTG .. thanks Stephanie :)

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  4. I want that keyboard. Does it come with ROFL and Here's2U? We laugh now, but methinks this device is on the horizon. Great to find your blog. Wish I'd discovered it sooner. Thanks for visiting The Write Game to lead me here.

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  5. Hi Stephanie .. you've made a few sales .. and could add me to the list. I'm not good at texting .. I mostly use English .. and sometimes I've no idea what people are talking about .. thankfully I do very little of it ..

    However I do use the dreaded !! .. cheers Hilary

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  6. I rarely text and had no idea what ttyl meant until I read your post. I do feel the English language is becoming sloppy. When I hear what a 22 year old from the 1860's wrote home to his mom or wife when he was in the civil war and how eloquent he sounded to the average 22 year old today, my heart sinks. Oh and I still have a pay as you go flip phone:)

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    1. I've been doing some historical fiction from what I've uncovered I'd bet during 1860 people still thought the young'ins were corrupting the language. Its fascinating how English keeps morphing and changing. It did it way back when as well. I agree though, to our eyes those letters are gorgeous.

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  7. I still have a flip phone. I needed another blogger to define all the LOL, RFLMAO etc. for me. Thankfully, she did without LOL at me.

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  8. I use some acronyms, but not general text speak because I've never learned it - I very, very rarely text - me and my phone are not great friends ;). The netiquette I learnt, it's not good form to use text speak in emails and blog comments, it's for text messages only, but acronyms are fine in all things :).
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Natasha thank for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm a firm believer in the notion that there are no hard and fast rules.

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  9. I'm glad you explained TTYL - I had no idea. My kids only seem to text "Can I stay out later?" - but at least they ask.

    #1 son got a new Windows phone recently - like me - but won't ask me for help when he's stuck because it's lame to ask for techie help from your mum!

    He wants to build himself a computer soon - do you know the best person to help with that? His Granddad :-) :-) :-)

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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  10. Funny but I've seen it too. Our first computer repair guy was no spring chicken.

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