SUSAFE

What? You don’t know what my title means? Have you Googled it yet? I chose to title this blog SUSAFE because I wanted it to be a New Year’s Resolution for everyone. I may sound like an old man, but in 2014 we should try to Stop Using Silly Acronyms For Everything! (SUSAFE)

Aren’t you tired of receiving messages from friends and having to go to Google to translate them? You can’t ask directly because then you get picked on as they “can’t believe you didn’t know.” After studying Latin in high school and Spanish in college, I have no interest in learning yet another language. Although it would be beneficial to brush up on those, I find no use in learning the “cool” acronym language that changes every other week. What if we spent the time we waste making up acronyms learning a new word? It doesn’t have to be a foreign word, just any word. The intelligence of this country would rise exponentially!

I believe acronyms are fine in the medical field or the military where a faster language can actually save a life. The rest of us, well if we’re always in such a hurry that we can’t speak, we might need to work on our time management. I understand it’s required with character limits on text messaging and twitter or as a code for teenagers, so parents won’t understand, but it has gone way too far.

People are actually using it in conversations now, which I find extremely funny because it takes more effort to say, “B-T-W” than it does to say, “by the way.” Seriously, try it and count the syllables. Wait, now we say, “B-T-Dubs.” Wow! Now we’re abbreviating abbreviations! It doesn’t matter how “cool” it sounds; that’s lazy! I guess I should shake my head to that? In case you didn’t know, “SMH” means “shaking my head” and, yes, I had to Google it! When did we start shaking our head at everything? We’re going to get whiplash or a concussion!

What I find to be the most irritating is that announcers are doing it during games! These guys get paid nice salaries by ESPN to talk, so I think they should say, “pass interference” and not “PI.” It’s even going into marketing. Have you seen the Verizon/NHL commercial that just says #FOMOH? They finally started saying, “Fear of missing out on hockey” because I think a lot of people complained.

Some may be offended, but I say this in an effort to help, not hurt. Talking to your friends is fine, but this habit is carrying over into our professional lives and can really hurt your chances of landing a job. Employers, especially small businesses, are looking at Facebook pages to see what type of person you are before making a hire.

Trust me, if I see a lot of WTF’s or LMFAO’s on your profile, I’m going to be a little nervous that you might slip up and actually say that to a customer. Not to mention spelling errors and abbreviations everywhere may make an employer question your intelligence. Remember, that person is putting their reputation, and their future, on the line when they hire you, so they don’t really care if you’re “cool” or not.

I had a teacher tell me that when we’re writing, we should assume the reader doesn’t know anything about the subject. Why can’t we do the same in our daily status updates, tweets, or conversations? Take a moment, use your words, and make a complete thought. If not, you’ll spend more time explaining what you meant than the time you saved with the acronyms anyway!

Happy New Year!

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