Text messaging has led to the deletion of letters in words for speed and brevity when corresponding with friend and foe. It is quite a fascinating phenomenon to look at the changes in words/phrases due to the ingenuity of others…all for the sake of cutting down on time and space.
Perfect time to insert a Star Wars reference. R2D2-- the little droid from the film-- was apparently named for the abbreviation of Reel Two, Disk Two, a code for a film can that sound editor Walter Murch said aloud (and writer George Lucas heard) while editing on the movie American Graffiti.
It was not long ago, or in a galaxy far far away, that I started being highly entertained by the challenge of clipping words in this language of texting (I was one of the last on the planet to have a flip phone). Attending a seminar in 2014, I was given a word-match game…and I lamely figured out less than half of the abbreviated phrases used in texting!
The word “Before” has become “B4”, cutting all of 4 key strokes for the sake of time and ease of reading those smaller screens.
Some of my favorites? TTYL for “Talk to You Later” and IDK for “I don’t know” are handy to use in a text message to cut short the keystrokes. However, it is disappointing how those abbreviations have quite sneakily moved beyond the cell phone to become quick ways to cut short conversations! I, for one, am not entirely convinced that the “text-icon” (my abbreviated word for text lexicon) language should be spoken on a regular basis. Interpersonal communication is necessary to keep relationships alive…and brevity sometimes causes confusion or misinterpretation. So, as a lover of words…I’ll try to keep the shorties out of conversations.
Conversations are important for relationships and healthy communication. Each January through Valentine’s Day, those conversation hearts become available in boxes or bags and can be conversation starters, even for the shyest of givers. . NECCO --New England Confectionary Company --candy has a long history as a “made in America” item dating back to the Civil War. See Necco.com for a history lesson in Sweethearts at http://necco.com/Candy/Sweethearts/History.aspx
The candy hearts convey messages whereas the heart icon itself also conveys a message all on its own. Back in 1976, the state o f New York commissioned graphic artist Milton Glaser to make a symbolic logo. He chose the heart image to symbolize a love of New York. He used the symbol as a rebus, an image that stands in for a word or idea.
Look at this moving rendition that students from the school of Visual Arts distributed all over New York the week of September 11, 2001. This heart icon in two colors adds even more impact than the solid red one designed in the 70’s. .
People in the streets and on their way to work saw this expression of their deep feeling about the city on every storefront and doorway. The same combination of words and imagery was used as the front and back page of the Daily News on September 19, 2001. http://www.miltonglaser.com/store/c:posters/912/i-love-ny-more-than-ever-2001
The saying “Be Mine” has stamped the candy hearts for decades, but here’s an up-to-date take on the word version of the saying. The icon of a bee modifies that message slightly as .the Bee is tied to Cupid and love, so it can actually add some maturity to the primary school message to classmates.
Valentine cards and candy hearts throughout history have said “Be Mine” but Letter2Word decided to use an icon of the Bumble bee to make a year-around message for a family or seasonal wall.
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Parliament of Fowls in the late 1300’s and it is one of the earliest written references to tie Valentine’s Day with romance. Carl S. Pyrdum III, a graduate of medieval studies at Yale University, loosely translates a part of Chaucer’s poem“talks of the day when all the birds of every kind imaginable, come to choose their mates.” Chaucer thus ties birds and their mates into that Valentine reference: The mature version of love now links birds AND bees.
Birds, no bees “Fly Free” on this large wall in Davenport, Iowa, where Letter2Word makes its art for any setting.
As a fan of clever lyrics, I choose Cole Porter’s 1928 song “Let’s Do It” that tells us to fall in love and the words neatly tie in with the Valentine icons of bees, birds, and hearts.
"And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it…
Let's do it, let's fall in love”
By: Ann K. Nicknish (the Blogging Word Girl)
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