Saturday morning I was at Sulphur Springs Park interviewing Jefferson County Judge Mike Holcomb about a project to improve the park. He was answering a question when I received a text message on my cell phone.
The message asked why I was not at “HOFNOD.” I don’t read code.
I replied, “Call me.” No response.
A few minutes later another text inquired about my location and what was I doing when I should have been at “HOFNOD.” I sent two replies asking the texter to call me.
I’m sorry, but I carry a cell phone to send and receive verbal messages.
Five to 10 minutes later I finally received a call, not a text. The caller — a teacher who is also my daughter —- wanted to know why I was not at a school function in White Hall. She noted she had discussed the school function with me several weeks earlier. She did. I remember the conversation.
She also said she reminded me again Friday afternoon. I do not remember that conversation. She suspects I have dementia.
It’s possible she sent me a text message Friday. I ignore many text messages and will not read them while driving. It is distracting and illegal. Two young men I knew when they were children are now dead because one was texting while driving.
There is another reason I don’t like texting: I have been in the communications business since 1963, studied communications at several colleges, have taught and lectured on communications at several institutions of higher learning and know enough German and Spanish to obtain a hotel or meal, but do not understand texting shorthand.
No one can explain why “10q” should be read as “thank you.” Or “218” as “too late.”
When I ask my 15-year-old granddaughter to do a chore, her idea of “OK” is simple “k.” More often as not I receive no message, which means she is ignoring the request. I understand that message.
Examples of text message abbreviations:
22 – to, too and two
abt2 – about to
app – application or appreciate
ded – dead
bc, bcos, cuz and bcoz – because
bup – backup plan
CD9 – parents are watching
g – grin
grl – girl
hm – home
IONOI – I don’t know
inc – incoming
mab – maybe
meh – whatever
oh – overheard
t2u18er – talk to you later
AWLTP – avoiding work like the plague
BBFBBM – body by Fisher, brains by Mattel
BOCTAAE – but of course there are always exceptions
w8 – wait
sh^ – shut up
BDBI5M – busy daydreaming back in 5 minutes
CSABRC – continued success and best regards
DARFC – ducking and running for cover
FYM – for your misinformation
ISH – insert sarcasm here
SSEWBA – someday soon, everything will be acronym
The teens who text most of their day will have arthritis in both thumbs by age 30.
If you don’t have the code, the acronyms and abbreviations resemble the latest encoded message sent by one of our nuclear submarines lurking off the coast of some country supporting terrorism. My quick translation: “We have found a bunch of bad guys! Can we turn this place into a glass-lined parking lot?”
I was a tad late for HOFNOD [Hooked On Fishing, Not On Drugs] but still got the story. Sometimes the old ways still work best.
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Larry Fugate is a veteran journalist and former editor of The Pine Bluff Commercial. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (870) 329-7010.