By Sylvia Hubilla
Round Rock, Texas
A young man sent a text message to his Mom to tell her about the passing away of a friend, and the Mom replied with , “ So sorry. LOL.” And of course the son replied, “Mom, how can you say LOL. That is not funny!” And the Mom said, “ Why, isn’t LOL Lots of Love?” Ellen Degeneres read out this text exchange on her show.
When I heard this, I really LOL – laughed out loud! Because I can truly relate with that Mom. In fact, I have a bigger handicap than her, because I am a grandma, and therefore, suffer from a bigger generation and technological gap.
I used to believe in the saying, “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” But I refuse to label myself an “old dog.” And I have long ago erased, I mean, deleted that saying from my treasure trove of words to live by.
I refuse to turn into a dinosaur, or worse, a fossil trapped in a modern world that has gone global. With globalization comes technology, and vice versa. And to survive and be relevant, I had to learn to navigate the fast and furious highways of technology. And just as with modernization came everything instant – instant coffee, instant oatmeal, instant mashed potato, etc., of course, came instant communication. And if the microwave is the magic wand for all the instant food, there are the computer and the mobile phone for instant communication. So where there was the letter through the post office mail, (now called snail mail), now there is email, and text messaging and twitter.
When globalization took my children away to different parts of the globe, I had no choice but to just jump right in and learn to stay afloat, to keep my family close. And so the need to walk the talk, so to speak. I have to learn the language of technological communication, or as I like to call it, the tech talk.
When I started to learn text messaging, or just texting, I thought I was doing pretty good. I had brb, btw, omg, bff, among a few. But soon the internet was inundated with acronyms, and double words and phrases, which were now accepted as words, like Webster’s monsters spawned by instant communication.
My vocabulary has now been rendered inadequate.
So in an attempt to be technologically articulate as opposed to being labeled technologically challenged, let me make a sweepingly random, layman’s list of commonly used, so-called new “words.” Here goes!
• YOLO – you only live once a word that actually made it to the 2012 list of new words in the Merriam -Webster dictionary, and my favorite. This sadly, is said to be about to be banished in 2013.
• lol – laugh out loud
• rofl – rolling on the floor laughing
• bbl – be back later
• brb – be right back
• ttyl – talk to you later
• tfn – till further notice
• bol – busts out laughing
• imho – in my humble opinion
• imo – in my opinion
• tmi – too much information
• omg – oh my gosh
• afaik – as far as I know
• h8 – hate
• <3 – heart
• tgif – thank God it’s friday
• sos – same old stuff
… and so many more. But I only chose the clean, rated GP (general patronage) words. Or a lot of times, Smileys and Emoticons convey your message just as effectively, if not better.
Oh btw (by the way), the 2012 Word of the Year is “Hashtag” with this symbol, # which is the topic for a twitter message. And I do not claim to have all these in my meager tech vocabulary. These are mostly from the famous Google Search. And quite a lot from my grandkids. I learn a lot from them.
I like “hanging out” with my grandkids. It keeps me young. It keeps my vocabulary young, updated and relevant. And it makes me appear quite tech savvy. Okay, GTG (got to go)!