Heads-up ASAP: LGBTQA's Need Linguistic Boots on the Ground 24/7, LOL…

Remember back when newscasters used to say “soldiers in combat,” way back B4 ‘boots on the ground’ became the comfort-food slang for such an activity—and you knew exactly what they meant, not some thinly-veiled bait-click ad for Nikes or Adidas? Aaaahhh, those were the good old days of comprehension and intelligence. And a notice was a notice, not a ‘heads-up’, whatever that means. And all the time was ‘all the time’, not 24/7, certainly not 24/7/365. Homosexuals were gay, if they wanted to be informal, certainly not something like a greasy BLT sandwich with ever-increasing ingredients.

Text talk has only made the problem worse, of course, that building on trade-show bizniz talk before it, in which a priority order was always ASAP—as soon as possible, and credit-less cads were always charged COD—cash on delivery—for an extra surcharge. Then there was vanity-license-plate number/letter mixed shorthand, like GR8 or DV8 or L8R, easy enough, or Hollywood-style rap like POV (point-of-view) or CU (close-up) back before it came to mean ‘see you’, or the general culture catchalls like NIMBY or genuine ideograms like XOXO—nice.

But text talk has really upped the ante (not ‘auntie’) for comprehensibility. Now much of it is pretty obvious, of course, such as FWIW and BTW and WTF or IMHO, but what about ROTFLMFAO or DILLIGAS or IWIDHTWSMTGATC (I wish I didn’t have to waste so much time googling all this crap). I mean: at some point the exercise is counter-productive; i.e. you’re wasting more time than you save. This is supposed to be shorthand, a la mode. And it may very well work out that way, but aren’t we diminishing the language in the process?

The headline is virtually incomprehensible without further explanation—quick notice: homosexuals need constant policing of their narrative :-)—but a person who speaks English as a second language might never know that. And I suspect that that’s why we lingo-limited Anglos do it. Since we speak no second languages, we mangle the one we have for mutual unintelligibility (i.e. a secret language). Slang is hard enough, but this is ridiculous. And these are all terms used by newscasters, not just Joe the Plumber. That’s what makes it sad.

Rarely, if ever, will anyone say ‘soldiers in combat’ nowadays. Is ‘boots on the ground’ really preferable in any way? When I learn languages in the course of travel, there is always a threshold to fluency that is like magic. One day you’re struggling; the next day you’ve ‘got it’. I listen to TV newscasters to increase my odds of success, since they’re always so precise and articulate, or used to be, at least. It’s getting more complicated, not less–persevere…

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