Emojis are a craze with people Image Credit: AP

A few days back I texted my bro (brother!!) whether we could meet up. Prompt came the answer — “No … off …” Well, I was a bit surprised that he was off on a regular working day. I texted back to ask if he was fine.

Surprised (that was through an emoji) he asked, “Why?” I explained. An emoji of laughter again and he replied “Off … meaning I am in office”. “Oh ok,” I wrote, “Sorry I disturbed.” Pat came the reply, “NP TC E”. Irritated, I wrote: “PLEASE EXPLAIN”. And so he did. “No Problem Take Care Enjoy”. — Now ain’t that sweet?

The present times are spinning too fast — at least for some — and we are trying to keep up with it. Abbreviations have entered our daily lives at a pace where the normal speech or text seems, well, not so normal.

Intrigued, I sat back to think. We are living in the age of short forms. Time is scarce and so ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. If I recall correctly (that’s IIRC) I was on Whatsapp with my friend when suddenly she writes BRB — with which thankfully I was familiar and I wrote back an elaborate OKAY, instead of OK or even KK which is now in vogue too.

Not forgetting our manners

But what must be appreciated is that even in this rush, we have not forgotten our manners. We remember to say ‘Thank you’ — which has also undergone an evolution to ‘Thanku’ then ‘Thanx’ and now ‘TY’. Wow! Then there is CUL (See You Later). Imagine if typed another ‘L’ by mistake, the reader would definitely be wondering …

It doesn’t end here. Being old school, if a person is excelling in any particular activity, he was said to be an ‘ace’ in it. So when daughter dear texted recently, ‘had an ace’, I was quick or rather eager to point out her mistake. Patiently came the return answer, “ACE: a cool experience….” OOKKAAYY I replied.

I have NP with LOL and ROFL (though with the latter I am a bit sceptical) anymore. Just as I was about to give myself a pat came “AFAIK you are allergic to it…..” This was from my husband in answer to whether we could eat prawns …. It’s been quite some time.

Then there is a similar one that reads AFK. So As Far As I Know (AFAIK) AFK when read elaborately sounds like ‘Away From Keyboard.’. now this is a necessary one as the keyboard is our every minute companion now a days and BTK has to be there, for we have to continue to work … so Back To Keyboard.

Now DGMW (Don’t Get Me Wrong) I’m aware of OMG and TGIF, IDK and BTW but ICYMI and TBC had me floored. Once I remember, one of my nieces was going through a rough patch and trying to remain up to date. I sent her a GIF of a hug. “YMMD” came the answer and I typed back LOL, BTW what does it mean? “‘You Made My Day’, Auntie and I am LOL now.’ Okay…. at least I put a smile on her face I said to myself.

A comic relief

Comic relief sometimes is not so bad is it? I was sent a 4YEO once, which I asked my husband to read. Receiving a birthday gift in advance from my daughter, I texted SCNR (Sorry Could Not Resist) and took a peek. I guess she was busy, as after a few hours my phone pinged a MSG (Message and no it’s not the salt) SFLR (Sorry For The Late Reply) and then a big thumbs up emoji …. Mom you’re on….

But having said all this, there is a lingering question at the back of my mind.

Are we being too fast for our own good? And what about our earlier generation? What about our parents, uncles and aunts who are too mature in numbers? Have we given a thought about them? What happens when they are faced with ACK, B\C, DIY, EOM, FYI, HTH??? Well it DOESN’T help…..so don’t hope.! They are stranded, bewildered and puzzled.

The father who throughout his life has been confident in stride, now stands mute, embarrassed, fumbling, unsure as to what to do. What does the present have to say to the past on whose shoulders it has built itself? Sometimes a good Samaritan comes forward to clarify, but often they are snapped at, or attended to in an insulting manner.

Dear present generation, remember one day you will be parents and grandparents too…..and the then new technology maybe 2F4U. You might fumble too. So DGHW not TYT but TOT (Take Out Time) and BI2L (Before Its Too Late) slow down, and instead of being N\A make yourself available, put a smile on the wrinkled face and let’s all ROFL and LOL together.

Mamata Bandyopadhyay is a homemaker based in Dubai.