Two years in South Africa has turned me lazy. I can speak the language, drive around (even if it is on the wrong – I mean “other” – side of the road), recommend good restaurants to tourists and even fake a South African accent when absolutely necessary. I have a South African bank account, hair stylist and temporary residency. I’m all settled in.
But now as I embark on the next Big Adventure, complete with new language, food and continent, I am faced with an all-too-familiar challenge: getting the visa.
Yebo, Gogo! Guess who’s comin’ town? That’s right, boys and girls, it’s my very own Yankee Doodle MOM-O! Oh geez. South Africa better brace itself for this baseball loving, (lame) joke telling, heap-o-fun in a teeny tiny five foot package. Oh, sorry, little Mom, you’re actually five foot two (when you wear two inch heels). So what, you may ask, is on the itinerary while she’s here?
Acronyms are the new vocabulary for everyone from the CEO to the LMFAO Facebook-e. We go to university at MSU and then take the LSAT to go work as a CPA or maybe in PR. Did I just mix up the job that goes with the test? I’ll sort it out ASAP. We live in the EU or the AU or the USA and listen to old Beatles songs of the USSR. We fear AIDS but look forward to the end of the week when we can celebrate TGIF with our BFF. Our alphabet is maximised while our vocabulary is reduced to what was meant to be just the building blocks of greater, more complete words.
In the midst of all this letter shuffling and strategic abbreviation we often manage to dumbify our language. We lose the nuances of the longer words come to be represented by only their first letter.
But at other times we manage to create a concise and even precise way to express surprisingly complex concepts. We take the art of not using two words when one will do and pump its veins with acronymic steroids. While we may ruin ourselves with LOL, we simultaneously come up with TIA.