What now? R-U DWT?

| June 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

Here’s the short version:  a woman hears that a friend has suddenly died, and in haste and grief, she shoots off an email to the husband, expressing her condolences, offering heartfelt help if needed, and signs off with … “LOL.”

Now, as any kid can tell you, “LOL, ” in our mile-a-minute world of communication, does indeed not mean “Lots Of Love.”  Though, indeed, it could.  It just doesn’t.  Much to the poor lady’s horror, her own kid clued her in, and of course, that called for another fast apologetic email, and heaven knows what gaffes she made on that one.

If I’ve left some of you living in caves, and therefore in the dark,

“LOL” in contemporary computer jargon, stands for ‘Laugh Out



In Newsweek, Robert J. Samuelson bemoaned the decline of the comma.  It used to be common (not comma: common) in long-accepted English,  yet is less and less likely to be found – even in its usual place, which is after an introductory prepositional phrase, or in sentences that begin with “Naturally, “ or “Amazingly,” and so on.  The comma helps us pause, catch our breath, he pines, noting that even that is a declining luxury.  We just don’t have time any more to stop for a comma.

We’d better get back to deep-breathing, lest we find ourselves living in isolation with only our “communication” devices to keep us warm.

I’m making an assumption that we actually might connect, given the amazing array of hardware now at our disposal.  I’m just about finished believing how convenient cell-phones are, and I can’t even fathom how willingly we accepted our pathetic means of connection when we “only” had to search for a telephone or for some dimes for a public one,

Back then, we were “DWT.”

Yet the burgeoning hardware industry has now led us to more tangled complications. In addition to remembering the essentials of my friends and colleagues (i.e. their names), I now have to respect their particular, favorite type of communication – that is, the one to be used if I really want to talk or, heaven forbid, wish a response.  They have cell phones, of course; also, their office phones and their home phones.  But wait!  Not necessarily for talking:  despite their collection of phone, “phone” people are usually the ones that insist on text-messaging. And, those addicted to email often have several addresses there as well, and when you realize you’ve had no response, you’re forced to research the addresses you haven’t yet used.

Advice:  Try not to choose the one that goes routinely to SPAM.

If you really do want to be heard, if you long to be noticed, here’s more advice:  whatever you’re thinking of saying to anybody, no matter what, shorten your message; use fewer words.  We are charged to get our messages across in increasingly succinct mode, be it a tweet, a text, a status update or whatever becomes the newest short-hand communiqué. Even the long-respected “elevator pitch” has gone way before the now-preferred “escalator pitch,” as noted in “The Attention Economy,” by Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck: “… short enough to make when you’re on the up escalator and your funding prospect in on the down escalator, passing by.”

Whoops, I’m approaching TMI. OMG, didn’t mean to stress you out here.

Yet, DTR, y‘know?  You can count on me to have your best interests in heart.  R-U DWT?

Bonus section, Vocabulary Lesson:

R-U DWT:  Are You Down With That?

LOL:  Laugh Out Loud

TMI:  Too Much Information

OMG:  Oh My God

DTR:  Determine The Relationship

Category: Life Style

About the Author ()