The Metric of Mainstream_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Between Blink Lines___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BAK: Pop Culture Speak, OMG

Chicago Sun Times | Ohio hospital’s ‘OMG!’ billboard draw complaints

When did we start using "OMG"?
When I was a child, letters from friends in class or yearbook messages were signed with KIT (Keep in Touch),  ASS (Always Stay Sweet), and FF (Friends Forever). I'm sure BFF was out there too but I choose to believe that acronym was not popular in my school over the fact that I was never deemed worthy of Best Friends Forever status. We also used JK (Just Kidding) for banter, FYI (For your Information), and PS (Postscript). I don't remember OMG.

What about all these Pop Culture Acronyms?
OMG must have emerged from the internet chat rooms along with LOL, BTW, and TMI. It is by far the most popular pop culture acronym as it represents a moment of "wow", "I can't believe it", "Is this/did this really happen?" etc. As a kid from the Generation X/Y, we used to say, "Oh my gosh" all the time but Michael Jackson never wrote a song about it. Usher's song OMG debuted at 14, was number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in May, 2010 and sold over 4,000,000 digital copies in one year.

The sideways heart <3  is an interpretation of the fluffy hearts that girls use to sign a letter or message in place of the word "love,".

Many of us gripe that our emails do not properly represent the emotions of the message we are trying to relay. This is particularly true with plain text email over html. Emotion is portrayed best in the handwritten note. However, if you are concerned that your feelings are not heard, you should invest in a short lesson on Emoticons. We all know LOL but have you heard GFETE, Grinning from Ear to Ear, LMAO, Laughing my Ankles Off, ROTFL, Rolling on the Floor Laughing. Or just try visual aid: :)  :(  :o

Twitter is another animal. No worries. If you are new to the scene visit the online Twitter Dictionary,

The truth is, although reading and writing pop culture acronyms is supposed to shorten the pace of conversation, for those who don't practice regularly, this shorthand is more work. It takes more time to think of acronyms and interpret them than to just write out the actual words. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the blending of old and new language technology and learning how to participate. It brings depth to American culture. However, some, more than others are challenged by this phenomenon: I am more than my 17 year old nephew who "gets it" from birth. 

And why is it that facebook always the first to know? LOL


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