Linguistic laziness has taken the world by storm. Whether sparing themselves the torture of a third vowel by saying, “Delish”, the agony of a second letter by typing, “K”, or the prospect of ever being respected by saying, “OMG”, we’ve all experienced someone armpitting the warm crutch of abbreviation.
What’s surprising, but also not surprising, is how popular this trend has become in the sphere of work emails.
BTW (By The Way), IDK (I Don’t Know), EOD (End Of Day), EOM (End Of Message), LMK (Let Me Know), and so on. Some are worse than others.
Like, HTH – Hope This Helps. As opposed to what? HTWYT – Hope This Wasted Your Time?
Or my ultimate irritant, IMHO.
In My Humble Opinion? Seriously?
First of all, how often are professionals truly unable to diagnose an opinion? Are people actually reading statements in emails like, “This could cause us difficulties down the road,” and getting baffled as to whether or not they’ve been struck by scientific law?
Second of all, how hypersensitive have we become that now we need opinions to be humble? It’s an opinion. We’re all getting paid here. Spit it out. If it’s intelligent, we’ll work with it. If it’s dumb, we’ll start ignoring you more and more until eventually you’re afraid to talk in meetings.
In short, most work email acronyms are useless; they cater to laziness and protocol rather than efficiency and progress.
If we’re going to use acronyms in work email, they should actually mean something and actually have an impact. The content should provide new information and additional perspective. The goal of work email is to push things forward; our acronyms should reflect and contribute to that goal.
So here are my official nominations for additions to the 2016 Work Email Acronym Dictionary.
Or, of course, The WEAD.
TFFU – Thanks For Following Up
Hey! Great! Thanks for remembering to get back to me on this. That’s…a pleasant surprise.
NTR – Need To Remember
So, you don’t recall all the details. Including the most important one. That’s cool. It happens. I guess. I can fill in some blanks for you.
TASB – Taking A Step Back
Did you eat too much candy? Let’s just breathe and recalibrate here. Again, there’s a high-level purpose to keep in mind…
PRTEE – Please Read This Entire Email
This isn’t some Facebook post about how special my daughter is, or how fitness helped me overcome my demons; this is work in exchange for money. TL;DR is not an option. Read everything, think about it, and then please respond intelligently.
BARDH – Beating A Really Dead Horse
Seriously? We’re going over this again? This saying totally makes sense to me now. And I’m starting to wish I was the fucking horse.
WDYJSYI – Why Don’t You Just Search Your Inbox?
No, I will not send you that deck for the third time. I don’t care that you didn’t find it the first time you looked. Keep trying with different words. It’s like Google, but for your email. I know you know how to do this.
SDYJRN – So Doing Your Job Right Now
I make ONE salary. Remarkably, you make one too. If we’re on the same page with only one thing, please let it be this.
JPM – Just Phone Me
You just asked me 11 questions, in 11 different emails, over the course of 20 minutes. We didn’t meet on Tinder. Just fucking call me.
AFDN – Any Fucking Day Now
WHERE DID YOU GO??? 20 emails in 2 hours and now nothing for more than a day?? I know junkies more predictable than you. Speaking of which…
LMP – Losing My Patience
I just put Percocet on my lunch salad instead of goat cheese.
LICFY –Lucky I Can’t Fire You
Seriously, though. You’d be under a bridge with a squeegee in both hands by Friday if it were up to me. BOTH hands.
FACY – Fantasizing About Choking You
Yup. That did the trick. I officially don’t need porn.
WWD – Written While Drinking
Please excuise all typod and grammar errorrs; all emails r niw being written by smashing my face intyo the keybord.
IGU – I Give Up
That’s it. Fuck it. I’m out.
MD – Mic Drop
Important Appendix Item:
LMGTFY – Let Me Google That For You
If you’re not aware of the website LMGTFY.COM (Let Me Google That For You), you need to make it part of your life immediately. It’s genius. If someone asks you a question that is brainlessly easy to answer with a simple google search, you can send them this link:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=<The Exact Search You’d Use In Google To Answer The Question>
After the ‘=’, without the angle brackets, just type in the search that any sensible, self-sufficient human would use to answer the question at hand (spaces are fine). Send them the full link. When the recipient clicks the link, they’ll be taken to the Let Me Google That For You site. The site will take control, automatically type out – in a Google search bar – the text you chose, and then perform a Google search right after an instructional panel under the search bar flashes, “Was That So Hard?”
It’s. The. Best.
Ben is a Toronto-based writer and public speaker with more than a soft spot for 90s hip hop. He has spent over 10 years in business & tech, more than 20 in the arts, and an entire lifetime in a state of perpetual judgment (highly recommended). He is the author of the blogs This Is Your Brain on Dating and Love Gone Cray and can be found pontificating on Thought Catalog, Notable.ca, The Toronto Standard, Offline Magazine, Gasm.org and Huffington Post.
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