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Abbreviations you’re using that annoy everyone, especially coworkers

(BUSINESS NEWS) Abreves: are they the perf way to express yourself succinctly, or are they obvs ridic and make you seem totes awk?


They had a purpose once

The practice of abbreviating common words undoubtedly sprang from text messaging, back when you had to press the number two rapidly three times to get the letter C, for example. Texting was a painstakingly slow process back then, which is why people developed abbreviations to shorten common phrases and words. “Talk to you later” became “TTYL.” “Very” became “v.” “Obviously” obviously became “obvs.”


Contraction and expansion

But these days, a lot of phones have slide out or touchscreen keyboards, as well as text assist and auto-correct to speed up your texting process. Now you can type just a few letters and your phone will produce options for expanding to the full word with a single click. So there’s really no need to abbreviate anymore. And yet, the trend has caught on, crossing over into how we speak in face to face conversations.

Some abbreviations are simply shortened versions of the word. “Hilarious” is shortened to “hilar,” for example. Other abbreviations get shortened, and then later, expanded again. “Crazy” became “cray,” which later became “cray-cray.” Jealous was truncated to “jel,” but also to “jelly.”

These examples show that an abbreviation need not necessarily be shorter than the actual word. It takes two syllables to say “cray-cray,” making it the same length as “crazy”.

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Sometimes the abbreviations become so commonplace that they’re no longer functioning to type or speak faster.

They’ve become their own, standalone concepts.

Polarizing generations

Some abbreviations seem to have gained widespread acceptance, while others are quite polarizing. “K” is an obvious fill-in for “OK” that will confuse no one. “Totes” flows seamlessly in conversations amongst millennials, but may sound strange coming from the older set. Then there’s deffo (definitely), natch (naturally), and preesh (appreciate), all of which risk making you sound totally dorky.

Which abbreves do you love or hate?


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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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