are people taking abbreviations too far?
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Thread: are people taking abbreviations too far?

  1. #1
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    are people taking abbreviations too far?

    I was browsing slashdot today, and saw a grouping of letters I was not familiar with... IANAL ... after reading further, I decided it meant: 'I am not a lawyer' ... I am always running across this sort of thing... IMHO I don't want to have to RTFM everytime I read /. ... sometimes I wish these people would STFU and actually type out the words... I realize this might not be right for the TechHumor forum on AO, but AFAIK I am not the only one annoyed by this...
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

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  2. #2
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    wow...I loled all over myself

    too fricken funny westin...

    Good choice....tech humor...I laughed

    and yes....I hate having to look things up all the time.....but I do it

    Keeps me young

    Thanks for the giggle

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  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    I'm used to it... I can generally figure out what they mean by looking at the rest of the sentance or paragraph. context clues...

    If it is legit, just open a new tab and throw it in your google toolbar.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/shorthand has a pretty good list.

    You can also install the answers toolbar for firefox. Then you just have to right click on the word and choose "look up on answers". I find that saves me a lot of time and is easy.

    Then again, the more you read slashdot the more you will learn. They love to make up new ones just about everyday. They're of a different breed.
    Last edited by phishphreek; January 12th, 2007 at 01:26 PM.
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  4. #4
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    I love how in your rant about abbreviations/acronyms, you used 4 yourself.

  5. #5
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    I find the abrevs.. very interesting. Especially when the meaning changes frequently. Take for example: lol

    Originally it was "little old ladies", then we started "laughing out loud", now we are "loling" all over ourselves. and soon we will start to "lol" ourselves....

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  6. #6
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zENGER
    I love how in your rant about abbreviations/acronyms, you used 4 yourself.

    5 if you count /.
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  7. #7
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    You really could have improved on this... but cute (for lack of a better word) none-the-less..

    Every acronym (they aren't abbr.) you used is rather common and fairly old... In fact, I cracked an IANAL joke at work just the other day.... With all the iPhone stuff going around one of my colleagues was registerig i<word> domains and I suggested "I Am Not A Lawyer"s Acronym.

    The "newer" ones drive me up the wall.. TTFN and TTYL for example... People love to type these.... yet they never clue in that "bye" is shorter... Then again the elimination of the English language is even worse..

    U, R. Wat's, Every1, etc... I remember speaking to a college English prof who said more and more students were handing in reports written like that... in "IM Speak" and that he figured the English language would evolve until those were acceptable in the business world.

    I'm guessing that the average person on this site types somewhere between 120 and 160wpm (Yet another acronym)... and I'd say that 30-60wpm is the average for a "regular" computer user... So let's call it 50wpm as "average" (a little above the midway point for a "regular" user)...

    Challenge: Get a tape recorder, or a microphone for your computer... Get a book... Turn to a random page and read it aloud. Read it at a pace that someone listening to you could understand and absorb the information... Those of you with children.. perhaps read at that pace... Then play back the recording... Time it and count the number of words. Then take a typing test somewhere... report back the results..

    I want to know if the average person types faster or speaks faster (my assumption is types faster... must faster... "valley girls" may be an exception)... Basically, I want to know if the slaughtering of the English language is necessary to converse at a rate similar a verbal conversation or if society is simply becoming that much more impatient.


    Btw (yet another) The answer is yes.... I enjoy turning Tech Humour threads into real threads.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    OK HT~ I will take you up on this one............... My personal view is that you have not hijacked or damaged this thread. I saw that it was presented in Technical Humour, in a lighthearted manner, but, like yourself I also saw the serious aspect to it.

    As for speeds, the average person speaks faster than they write, and writes faster than they type.

    In support of this argument, I will mention "shorthand" which has been used by secretaries for years to take dictation.......... Pitman's is a classic example.

    Secondly, might we examine the classic "QWERTY" keyboard? it was actually designed to make people type more slowly. Older members will remember the mechanical typewriter? it had a semi circular array of keys, and if you went too quickly, you would create a "birdsnest" or "logjam" with the type heads crashing into oneanother?

    OK IANAL () so I don't know how those Court Stenographers do it........... it obviously isn't a standard typewriter that they use.

    Conversation is a whole different issue as I see things. It is an interactive process; and you don't know what you are going to say next, given that this will be dependent on other people's contributions.

    I noticed your "challenge" and would suggest just taking your laptop to a lecture and trying to keep up............................ please remember that a lecturer is deliberately speaking rather slowly to allow the message to sink in?

    I can understand that the current situation is mostly due to the IM environment. I suppose the very limited text capacity of early cellphones has contributed as well? It takes me back to the era of the "telegram" when you paid by the letter/word............ they had a certain "style" and you used a thing called "stop" to punctuate your rather terse sentences

    AS for acronyms and abbreviations, I have no real problem, as we have used them in scientific contexts (usually measurements) for years...... mph, kph, mps, fps, and so on.

    Happy New Year to you and "she who must be obeyed"

  9. #9
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    HT: I realize I could have made this quite a bit better... but it was late and I had been drinking... *heh* ... after I posted I kept thinking of different acronyms I could have thrown in there... but I was not about to edit the original... that would just be tacky... however, I was wondering whether or not to call them acronyms or abbreviations... and I suppose I chose poorly... but like nihil said, it was a lighthearted post... you do make some interesting observations about typing/speaking speeds... and I appreciate the expansion of the original idea for this thread... I like speculation as much as the next guy... Cheers!

    Westin
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  10. #10
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    Secondly, might we examine the classic "QWERTY" keyboard? it was actually designed to make people type more slowly. Older members will remember the mechanical typewriter? it had a semi circular array of keys, and if you went too quickly, you would create a "birdsnest" or "logjam" with the type heads crashing into oneanother?
    Actually, it was not designed to make people type slowly as much as to decrease the likelihood that consecutive keystrokes would be near each other on the keyboard, and hence with hammers that were near each other in the printing area. (Nearer ones have a larger portion of their arc where they could possibly collide.)

    In that sense, it's arguable that that QWERTY actually speeds up typing, because your other nine fingers can 'queue' keystrokes and preposition themselves for the next letter even as you're typing the first--the same principles which avoid mechanical metal from tending to collide also keep your fingers from all trying to work in a single "sweet spot" that's too small for the natural spread of your hands.

    OK IANAL () so I don't know how those Court Stenographers do it........... it obviously isn't a standard typewriter that they use.
    They don't actually type as much as take minimally-standardized shorthand which they're asked to decipher later. (details).
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