I lay in bed last night, tossing and turning with apparently little else to do, thinking about the internet and the propensity of people to abbreviate everything to get their point across. But I find that instead of savoring the .08 milliseconds that I saved in reading the abbr., I'm annoyed I think about it at all. Especially if it's 3:30 in the morning. One that crops up a lot on a website I frequent is the inscrutable AFAIK. Though one would not ordinarily jump at the phrase "as far as I know" as a readymade abbr., once it was in the ether people embraced it. I have no idea why. I have saved little in the typing betw. "AFAIK" and "As far as I know," and it's far more frustrating to ALL CAPS for the abbr. than it is to type "As far as I know."
Then there is FWIW, which is to say, not a lot. If you really want to make your point with me, "fewiiw" is not a part of my native tongue, and maybe I'm being a little tetchy about the whole thing, maybe slightly "English Only", but, for what it's worth, it did not take me too much longer to type "for what it's worth" than FWIW, and I had to think about it for less than half the time, wondering what the hell FWIW means, and whether I've cracked the code yet.
Another one: YANMD. Are so many people asking questions about medical care on the internet that they found it was easier to type YANMD than "You Are Not My Doctor" as a preface to their question about social diseases, boils, goiters and hives? Can that possibly be correct? Do you trust the intarwebs, that bastion of scholarship and good advice to a) give you advice about your most intimate ickies from people other than a doctor? and b) have so little time that you must race through the disclaimer: "you are not my doctor" just to forge ahead to the icky private bits as quickly as possible?
I haven't seen it in a while, but "BRB" used to be like cryptography: I didn't know what the hell it meant, everyone else did, and I was too embarrassed to ask what it was. Did it imply that the person was in the 'Burbs? That they were belching? It rang of too many onomatopoeia's for it to be as simple as "Be Right Back." I was completely disappointed with the truth once I sucked it up and asked someone what it meant. The other possibilities were so much more interesting.
My least favorite is IMHO. Not because, if you read it phonically it reads as if you're saying "I M a 'Ho," or "I am a whore" for the "Ho"-challenged. My problem with it stems from the impulse to abbreviate anything which is so obviously false humility. The abbreviation itself, in my humble opinion, oozes with the sort of annointed self-deprecation that makes one feel better about themselves because they admitted they're humble, even though the advice they are about to impart clearly should be taken more seriously than all the other opinions in the discussion. But the truly humble don't need to mention their humility--hence my complete hatred of this particular abbr.
I know that in the era and ubiquity of the text message, when each letter counts for a huge percentage of the message allowed in your musings (140 letters per message=.71 percent per letter used. Not a lot of room to pen Kafka-esque tales of absurdity) the tendency to abbr. is almost impossible to resist. All the "R U coming? I M." and "Yr my BFF's" are inevitable, I suppose. But I h8 'em, and would appr. if u wd pls, no writ. in abbr. to me.
Not until I can pen an updated version of "War and Peace" in abbr.