Entry 405: You’re Just Not That Busy

Can I just say–and I’m speaking to all of you here–that you’re not half as busy as you think you are.

When you send me an email with just the letter “k” in it, I can only surmise that you texting[1]believe each nanosecond of your time is so valuable you simply can’t be bothered to also type the “o.”

When you send me an email with a subject line that says “OOO,” you may be saving some of your time, but you’re wasting a lot of mine because I’ll spend several confused moments trying to figure out what has impressed you so much that you’re saying “ooo.” By the time I figure out you mean you’re “out of office,” I don’t care that you’re out of office and, frankly, if you’re going to use abbreviations like that, I’d just as soon you didn’t come back.

I only use two fingers to type. I just timed myself, and it took 2.65 seconds to type “out of office,” and that includes hitting the button on my stopwatch. Really? You couldn’t spare 2.65 seconds to write the whole thing?

I don’t care who you are, or what you do for a living. You’re just not that busy!

For every “LOL” that eventually works its way into the universal lexicon, there is an “EOD” that drives people crazy. It benefits nobody if you, as my client, send me an email telling me that you need something “EOD” and it takes me until the end of the day to figure out that “EOD” means “End Of Day.”

Recently I emailed a question to my sister-in-law Karen, who responded with idk. That was her reply—just those three letters floating in the middle of the screen: idk. So, of course, I emailed her back: IDK? And she replied: I don’t know.

364612[1]I was just about to send a scathing response to the effect of If you don’t know what “IDK” means why did you write it? when I realized what “IDK” meant. If I hadn’t, the conversation could have devolved into an Abbott & Costello routine, or that famous scene from the TV show Taxi when Reverend Jim goes for his drivers’ license. (“What does a yellow light mean? “Slow down.” “Okay. What … does … a … yellow … light … mean?” And so on.)

This is just not an efficient way to communicate, people.

At least when you use abbreviations, I have a chance of figuring out what you’re trying to tell me. Sometimes, though, people use secret codes. Like “143.” Do you know what that means? If you don’t, then 143.

Evidently, “143″ means “I love you.” If you are of my generation, or a human being in any way interested in communicating coherently with other human beings, you may wonder why “143″ means “I love you.” Jeez, you are such an idiot. Isn’t it obvious? There is one letter in “I,” four letters in “Love” and three in “You.” 1-4-3. If it wasn’t for the Common Core math curriculum, “I Love You” could be expressed with only the number 8, but no one can add anymore.

If someone says “143″ to you, be sure to reply “1432,” otherwise they might suffer a “</3.” (By the way, I’m not making any of this up.) “1432″ is, of course, “I love you, too,” while “</3″ is a broken heart because, you see, “<3″ is an emoticon for “heart” and the slash means it is broken, whereas “<~3” means it only aches.  I do not know what the code for “heartburn” is.

I might suggest that if you can’t take the time to type “I love you” instead of “143″ (it’s only 5 additional characters, after all), then AFAIC you don’t really 143 me, which is just as well, because if we met online, you may not even be a GRL. And, by the way, if you think tossing numbers back and forth is romantic, you’re smoking 420.

These days, even abbreviations have abbreviations. When my daughter Casey was growing up in the early days of emailing and instant messaging, “POS” meant “parent over shoulder,” a signal to whoever she was “talking” to that I could see Casey’s screen. Kids today just type “9.” I have no idea why. I guess we should be flattered that they’ve assigned us the highest possible number without wasting time on a second keystroke. But they will happily spend the precious tick to type a second 9 when we go away; “99″ means the parent was there, but left.

Unlike folks out earning a living, teenagers at least have an excuse for using all these time-saving codes and abbreviations. According to a recent study, the average teenaged girl sends 133 texts a day. You simply cannot keep up that kind of pace without cutting a few corners.

But the rest of us? We’re just not that busy! If you were, you wouldn’t be wasting time reading humor blogs. If you can’t use complete sentences, at least use complete words.




AFAIC=As far as I’m concerned.

GRL=Girl. (They don’t leave out the “i” for expediency; “GIRL” is reserved for when you want to say “Guy Is Really a Lady.”)


SYS=See you soon. (I just made that one up.)

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3 Responses to Entry 405: You’re Just Not That Busy

  1. Vinny says:

    143 when u make me LOL. I Am sure a teen could have shortened that even more And I only meant 143 in a none 4 sort of way

  2. Pamela Schwartz says:

    This blog came on the heels of another post. 23 texts you should know if you have kids. You actually nailed a few of them. We are in trouble.

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