Monday, January 23, 2006

My Very Own Personal Tower of Babel

Last week I had my very own personal Tower of Babel experience. I was deep into a Nicot commentary and was actively trying to decipher the abbreviations that emerge in such a read: H p, Polyc Phi, Syrh, AusBr, Fay, EncJud...

Halfway through deciphering 4Q495, frag.2.18, my Instant Messenger lit up with a message from a student and I was suddenly accosted with another language just as foreign: BRB, CUL8R, AFAIK, CID...

My brain stopped working. Seriously, it just stopped. I became so overwhelmed by all of the random, floating letters that my brain absolutely, positively crashed within my skull.

I'm finally starting to get a handle on the IM lingo--enough to vaguely follow the conversation. On more than one occassion I've had to ask, "Um, what does 'pos' mean?" (For your info it stands for "parent over shoulder".) Most are now familer with LOL (lots of laughs), lesser known is ROTFL (Rolling on the floor laughing)

I've decided that I'm going to begin my own line of abbreviations. Here are a few I've come up with...feel free to add your own:

WOS (working on sermon)
HCIPFY? (How can I pray for you)
SHDU(sorry he dumped you)
SFIMDOAIWBIMOBYCCIIAE (sorry, friday is my day off and I won't be in my office but you can call if it's an emergency)

And my new favorite: PPYPO (please put your pants on) And yes, that is a real life phrase I had to use two weeks ago...but that's a story for another time.


Nathan Hart said...

so true. in my first month out of seminary, i remarked to my co-pastor, who is in his 50s, that i studied ancient languages for three years only to help him learn how to open an email attachment.

Samuel Bills said...

iltp - I liked this post

Gwen said...

I remember while we were in AU when Dave D. emailed us using JK in the message. We didn't know what it was and so believed his comment. Later, trying to figure it out, it was Josh who informed us that it simply meant "just kidding." Eight years later, it looks like it's way beyond JK.


Tony Myles said...


Christin said...

I think Tigger can be credited with coining the first IM acronym: TTFN - Ta Ta For Now.
Didn't he used to bounce around saying those letters?

David Drury said...

TTFN = hilarious. My kids are pre-schoolers, so I'm much more familiar with the Tigger acronym than instant messenger.

Mandy - this post was freakin wonderful. I laughed out loud (instead of merely typing LOL) here in this coffe shop and the BOS's (boomers over shoulder) looked at me like I was a street person.

I like your new list too. I think it takes the spiritual gift of interpretation to understand all these abbreviations and acronyms.

Dibs said...

Has it been 8 years since the JK reaction? I'm thankful for Josh to the rescue.

Gwen said...

Actually, Dibs, it's going on almost 9 years. Hard to believe. Yes, you were the one who initiated us into the world of acronyms.

Steph said...

Not that it matters now, but lol is Laugh out loud. Other than that, I'm not the most IM acronym proficient!