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January 18th, 2017

The Village Idiot

IGTOFT (I'm Getting Too Old For This)

Jim Mullen

By Jim Mullen

Published Oct. 14, 2015

IGTOFT (I'm Getting Too Old For This)

Some say that instant messaging and email are destroying our language.

The patois of acronyms and emoticons is constantly evolving; text messaging is becoming a digital dialect that only those who use it frequently can understand.

Sure, most of us know what some of them mean -- IMHO, BRB, TTFN and LOL -- but there are new ones being coined every day, like IRL, DBEYR, ICYMI and STBY.

Then there are the emoticons. Perhaps this is how Chinese characters came to be thousands of years ago: the first one no more than a smiley face at the end of an actual sentence.

Why do we need emoticons? How did we get along without them for all these hudreds of years? It's been a literary deficiency, no doubt. One can only imagine how much better Shakespeare would have been had he been able to use them.

To be, or not to be? That is the question. :-(

Et tu, Brute. :[

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. :-x

Alas, poor Yorick. :-(

There's no telling how much emoticons could've punched up snoozefests like "War and Peace" and "Oliver Twist."

As with most trends, teenagers are the driving force behind many of the new acronyms. But TCPTG (two can play that game). First, WDTWSRAT (when did the world start revolving around teenagers)? WIOOTTDWGTAVFT (Was I out of town the day we got together and voted for that)?

No, it wasn't us, but advertising agencies who decided that teenagers should run the world. Because teens have so much "disposable income," allegedly. Can you really call the money parents give their children "income"? "A bribe" sounds more like it. Except with a bribe, you expect something in return. It really sounds like it's PM (protection money).

And what do they mean by "disposable"? SWDMBD (Since when did money become disposable)? When I buy a $600 set of snow tires, it's not considered disposable, but when a teenager spends $600 on his car's sound system, it is. Would somebody please explain that?

Let's see. I own a car, I own a house and I spend a ton of money to keep both of them up and running. On top of the mortgage, there's heat, gas, electric and never-ending maintenance costs. What little change is left over, I waste on little extras like food and medicine. So GWATIMI (guess who advertisers think is more important)? Me or the 13-year-old girl next door? Why is she suddenly an economic powerhouse, while her parents are just some schmucks who live in the same house with her? Here's why: because she'll probably drop the phone in the bathtub before the contract runs out, and they'll just buy her another one. And another one after that.

She'll stop being important the minute she starts spending her own money. Because then she'll take care of the phone.

But guys in advertising ANASATTTA (are not as smart as they think they are). If they were, they wouldn't spend nearly $2.5 million on a 30-second beer commercial during the Super Bowl.

What do they think the football audience is already drinking? HACYNHAASBP (Here's a conversation you'll never hear at a Super Bowl party):

"Honey, could you get some more milk for me and the guys? No, wait a minute -- what's this? A beer commercial? Beer! That's a great idea, beer and football! Anybody else want to try one? I've never thought of having a beer while watching a football game before."

I wonder if it wouldn't be more effective to throw 2.5 million one-dollar bills out of a blimp over some big city. Not only would the beer company get gobs of publicity, a lot of people who pick up the money MSIOTP (might spend it on their product).

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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."

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