Monday, 21 October 2013

T to the fourth power y

People love making acronyms (PLMA!). But when you're in a different country, even something as simple as an acronym can make a conversation completely incomprehensible. I've mastered the blank stare whenever I hear an unfamiliar acronym now - especially since I've realised that some of them are made out of words/phrases that don’t necessarily make sense on their own, let alone when they’re shortened.

Some acronyms are fair enough:

Jason: I saw you walking past UV the other day.

In Australia, UV is a type of ray. It comes from the sun and burns the crap out of you. Seemed a little odd for someone to be able to see a UV ray, let alone remark on the fact that I was walking past one.

But as it turns out, UV = University of the Visayas. Perfectly understandable, shortening the name of a wordy institution is pretty commonplace.

Some acronyms that are a little more dubious:

Jovey: Rezza wants you to model for her photography assignment. What’s your TF?

TF? The hell does that mean?

Jovey: *after some time of awkward silence* Your talent fee.

TF = wages or asking price. Weird, but I can see the connection. It’s just really awkward having someone ask you, “What’s your talent fee?” as opposed to, “How much do you want to get paid?” Essentially saying you are charging someone a fee for your “talent” seems unbelievably up yourself.

Some acronyms they may as well have just used actual words for:

Jovey: Yeah, Sam has been working with Merah for ten years, and we all know he has a HD towards her.

She was used to me by now, and stopped to concept-check.

Jovey: Do you know what HD is?
Me: High definition?
Jovey: Hidden desire.

HD = crush. This one just seems needlessly dramatic. “Hey Taylor, I hear you have a HD for Jenny?” Potentially, it’s just a euphemism for hard-on.

The best of all is when they shorten things that are already acronyms:

Me: SM (Supermall), please.
Taxi driver: Sim?
Me: SM. The mall.
Taxi driver: *correcting me* Sim.

Sim = SM. Clearly, the two syllables are still far too much trouble to say.

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