Sunday, July 15, 2012

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Is it any wonder why we have such a hostile society today? That shall be addressed l8r.

There are approximately 171,400 words in the Oxford English dictionary. 46,000 of which are obsolete. Leaving 125,000 for general usage. However we know that the average vocabulary is lucky if it hits 25 or 30 thousand. But like yesterdays' fashion trend of wearing spats, words fall out of grace. How "retro" I believe is the latest term. Aside from obsolescence we have the latest trend of cramming ever more verbiage into the limiting confines of cyberspace. Slicing and dicing the language is nothing new for it goes back to ancient times when free expression could land your head at the end of a pike. But does all the mincing of language make for better communications? Granted it's time and space saving but easily misunderstood. A recent check of the innertubes reveals that there are 600,000 text abbreviations. If that's not a recipe for disaster I don't know what is. You can note that much of today's text has more to do with explaining the first misinterpreted text than a continuation of the dialogue.

It seems we are never satisfied with some simple explanation of a process or organizational name but must add some catchy tech talk or cute acronym. Pick any profession or organization and you'll find we're all guilty. When a garbage man (person) becomes a sanitary engineer we know the extremes have been met. I found this truly infuriating when taking a weatherization course. I believe they call it weatherproofing in other countries just so you won't be confused. At any rate a process, which any trained monkey could accomplish, was raised to the level of rocket science by the mere requirement of learning the tech talk. How friggin complicated is it to calk a window or install insulation? But I guess the higher powers had to justify the expense and confuse the customer in the process.

Now if you really want a prime example of neatcy cutecy acronyms and abbreviations look no further than our government. Just type in "Department of" and see what comes up. Making one wonder if they do anything at all considering we may not know what they do in the first place. Kafka would have better luck making it through this maze. And just how do they justify their existence when their purpose is so vague? Why with tech speak, acronyms and abbreviations of course. And if someone would catch on to the ploy then it's time for an update. Can't have the commoners actually understand what you're doing now, they might realize they could do it themselves and where's the profit in that?

Now before you comment don't forget to fill out your DDY/ 72658 forms submitted in triplicate. All entries must be submitted no later than 7/14/12 void where prohibited. WTF GTH ULB.


Eunoia said...

The OED has over 600,000 search items.
Using random numbers to choose page, line and position in line and a sample size of 100, I know(aka recognise) 76,000 of them.
I actively use (speak) about 42,000.

Bu then I'm an active blogger, using words like Eunoia ;-)

BBC said...

I've been saying for years that English is a piece of shit and getting worse. And then there's the smug asshole wordsmiths that think they know it all.

My base wurd base is likely under 300 wurds, and that includes da fucking swear wurds.

But at least everyone understands what I'm saying, even if the idiots don't agree with me.

Randal Graves said...

Verily, the kynge's speech hath been corrupt'd, yts soule a Brobdingnagian phylactery that shattereth vppon the plaite of the Trends of th'Age. Alack! Alack!

I've found that folks are loath to use words that go over two or three syllables unless they chop them up. But whatevs.

Demeur said...

That's no surprise Stu seeing as how you're on par with a rocket scientist.

Yeah Billy but grunts groans and other monkey sounds don't count.

The Bard doth protest to much me thinks. Should have ordered the pocket version of Ron Popeil"s word mincer. Just $9.99 plus shipping and handling.

The Blog Fodder said...

English is the most flexible language when it comes to adding or dropping words. Other than a confusing multiplicity of verb tenses and the impossibility of deciding how to say a word based on how it is spelled, it is simple enough to learn, according to ESLers. And words over four syllables are rare. compared to trying to learn Russian where words under four syllables are rare.

BBC said...

Is it just me or is Seattle getting more ugly? The PI sure has a lot of stories about shootings, rapes, etc.

Tom Harper said...

As the executive director of the Committee to Utilize the National Treasury, I take issue with this post.

Demeur said...

Fodder Shto eta?

Yes Billy we have turned into the "Naked City". Now kindly uncock the gun.

Can't fool me Tom that department was cut last year.

The Blog Fodder said...

eto vse fignya

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