There is no denying; anywhere you look today you are bombarded with acronyms. Whether you’re updating your status or sending your latest tweet, you’re more than likely to be getting a cheeky one in there.
Unsurprisingly the increasing rates of their use go hand in hand with the massive leaps in technology we’ve had over the past 10 years, think DVD, think PDF. Now, virtually all of the younger generation instinctively know what the three letters ‘LOL’ entail. Not to mention the new kid on the block and increasingly popular ‘YOLO’, an apt way of justifying rash decisions or an action which questionably isn’t the best you’ve had. Makes sense huh? Why type it in all its glory? Especially in the Twitter age, with so much happening at quite a pace and when less is more. But. You need to spread your word to eager followers or friends in a confined time or length. Perfect?
Well, you could be forgiven for even thinking what could possibly be wrong; I mean they’re pretty productive and expressive right? Well. If there’s one thing language puritans (those who take it upon themselves to set the ‘rules’ for language use) really don’t like it’s the acronym. Definitely wouldn’t be LMAO if I were one of them. They see acronyms as impure of standard language, a lazy and recessive trend which is watering down the authenticity of English. Ouch. Unfortunately for the language puritans, nobody really takes them too seriously. Language is a constantly changing entity and often runs parallel with technological and cultural advancements. I mean we’d be pretty stuck if we didn’t coin new words for new inventions. Many acronyms exist outside of the social sphere too; computer jargon is a gold mine for them.
Thankfully, the humble acronym is more widely appreciated by the masses. Many language researchers and linguists see them as a natural development of language, fully capable of being integrated into language systems functionally. There’s no arguing, they do make expressing yourself that whole lot easier, and the majority get what you mean. I therefore fully embrace them, the productive little gems, but, WBU?