In my first ever blog for The Huffington Post, I am going to discuss the shift in social normality towards using acronyms, as well the distinct lack of physical human interaction nowadays...
There are a number of acronyms in existence that have been used in the English language for hundreds of years, and all have been abbreviated for a good reason, because they were in another language to begin with.
Therefore 'R.S.V.P' (from the French 'répondez s'il vous plaît', meaning 'please respond'), 'P.S' (derived from the Latin 'post scriptum' which means 'written after'), and 'N.B' (from the Italian and Latin 'nota bene', meaning 'note well'), were all adopted by the English many years ago because instead of learning a few 'foreign words', they'd rather just replace those words with letters.
However the acronyms of today differ entirely. They have been created purely for convenience, and they do nothing but promote laziness in written and sometimes spoken English. 'ATM' (I mean 'at the moment', not the American expression for a machine that dispenses money), we're well and truly in an age of 'LOLing', 'OMGing' and 'ROFLing'. However, since when has it become acceptable to communicate like this, rather than using good, old-fashioned, full length words?
Not only does this frequent use of grouped together letters make way for sheer idleness, but it also has the ability to make miscommunication incredibly easy. It was only last year that during the Leveson enquiry, David Cameron was exposed as an acronym user, using 'LOL' one of the most popular acronyms at the end of messages to Rebekah Brooks. However was he 'laughing out loud', or sending her 'lots of love'? Either way it raises the question; could he not manage to sign of his message with a whole word?
This connects closely to my other frustration; the distinct lack of physical human interaction we seem to have as a society. People would sooner communicate with friends and loved ones with a typed message on their mobile phone or computer, (one or both of which is always attached to them), and some employers have even taken to interviewing candidates using Skype.
Is the age of face-to-face meetings well and truly over now? Is the only reason we pick up a mobile phone to send a text message rather than make a phone call? Is the ever-growing popularity of acronyms symptomatic of a society that just doesn't have time?
Whatever the answer to these questions, I know one thing is for sure - a vast proportion of society just 'can't be bothered' anymore! Please DO bother. Use words as they were intended to be used; in their full form, obvs.
My new DVD 'Qualmpeddler' is out now, and can be bought here