I remember back in eighth grade when I was asked to read aloud a section in our history book. (I don’t know if students even do this anymore in a classroom setting!) As I read, I came to "NATO" and unsure whether it was a word or not, paused and then said each letter individually! The instructor smiled and said, “Just say the word!” It didn’t look like a word, it had all capital letters and even though it was a short word, I’d never heard of it before! So I said the word and then continued. Guess I should have known the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had been around since April1949?
Ever think about making up your own acronym? Even though I write, I don’t consider myself creative and wonder if I could ever come up with something clever which remotely looks or acts like an acronym. So why do we use them anyway? In a nutshell, because we eliminate what would be a much longer phrase, if we didn’t! Can you imagine being in a conversation about Nabisco and have to say the National Biscuit Company every time you had the need or wanted to say “Nabisco?” Or how about “Interpol” which means International Criminal Police Organization? The acronym “unmuddies” the conversation.
Other acronyms we use often, are scuba which is “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus” or Radar, meaning “radio detection and ranging.” Or even FAQ which is the acronym for “Frequently Asked Questions.” We use these acronyms so often, they have become part of the English language. Even if you don’t know the precise meaning of the acronym, you immediately understand the reference. Now that said, there are times when it’s extremely important to know what acronyms are and their meanings!
With the usage of iPhones, iPads, computers and other technical equipment even our very young people use, often more fluently than their adult counterparts, acronyms in their messaging. As parents, knowing the slang terms/acronyms used for quick text messaging, is imperative. The following was taken from http://www.wbir.com/story/news/2015/02/05/decoding-text-messages-acronyms-parents-should-know/22911605/ and the acronyms given are said to be among the top twenty parents should know. To use CD9, PAW, MOS, PIR and POS means there is a parent close by, in the room or looking over a shoulder. GNOC, NIFOC, PRON TDTM are all about becoming naked in front of the computer or pornography is some fashion. (L)MIRL is an invitation to meet in real life, while WAREZ means Pirated Software.
I suggest these acronyms are frightening! I will be honest. Until I began researching this material, I didn’t have a clue. I text, as many adults do, but are we aware of how our young people use the internet, even everyday acronyms?
I challenge you to do some research regarding this idea if you have a young person who uses the Internet. It may be critical to their safety.