By Fr. Jonathan Filkins
The Picayune Item
Each generation has its own set of catch phrases, or slang, which seem to be identified with certain ages. Passé terms such as, “gnarly,” “dork,” or “freak out” put the listeners, or speakers, squarely in the past decades of history. Yesterday’s “dude” is, hopefully, headed to the same scrapheap of linguistic oblivion. Only the expression, “Cool,” seems to pass the test of time, as many seek to be of this description.
Part of being “cool,” for many current generations, is the not only the acquisition of, but the mastery of, the latest technology. The concept of being without instant communication with our busy world is anathema to many. A recent college study, conducted with volunteers, asked the participants to give up their cell phones for a full day. The study failed miserably, as the urge to check emails and text was overwhelming by the majority of participants, who could not wait for the twenty-four hours to end. Their need to interact, remotely, was so ingrained into their psyches; they reported heightened anxiety and even depression.
Oft heard of in the past, was the proverbial generation gap, that void between the oldsters and the “cool ones.” It is still in full evidence today, as the Language of E-textmail is a youthfully unique, essential to tiny keypads and knowledge of this strange language of communication is a requirement to be really cool. Heard about “ADAD,” or “OIC” or TIAD?” If not, go ask any twelve year old. (Translation: “Another day, another dollar;” “Oh, I see,” and the Scarlet O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”) If this has your head spinning, you have only begun your education. The website, Webopedia, lists 1375 such expressions and there are frequent additions. Not to worry, you can still use the full regalia of the English language in your communiqué; you just will not be quite so “cool.”
It was inevitable that something about God, even superficially, would creep into this new language. Acronyms have centered around human expressions, with the popular, OMG, (Oh, my God!) expanding to the OMGYG2BK, (Oh, my God, you have got to be kidding!) These expressions usually are overblown reactions to fashion faux pax, jilted relationships, and general snarkiness. Let us note, this mention of God has nothing to do, at all, with faith, hope, charity, or the belief in anything other than ourselves. Using these expressions only deludes us, as when we invoke the name of God; we somehow believe He agrees with us and we have him on our side.
On the Webopedia list, the only reference to anything truly religious is RYB. It is the simple direction to read your bible. Someone, somewhere, was a Christian who held firm to their faith, with the strength to tell others where to find the eternal truths of Christ Jesus. Unlike so much of this Etextmail shorthand, this is not about mindless banter, veiled foul-mouthed sophistry, or even the economy of language.This acronym conveys the direction to discover the way to salvation. In the Bible, there are no linguistic shortcuts, just the eternity of the Words of God, given to us as He wants us to read them. In the Bible, there are no shortcuts to salvation.
How do I obtain more information?
See, you are already learning a new language and becoming really “cool.” in the process.