One of the biggest bones of contention between Boomers and Millennials is the use of acronyms and emojis, particularly as they have proliferated in the workplace. Millennials love to use them, and boomers flat out hate them. One must admit (or not) that the assumption that everyone will know what your shorthand or emoji means is just plain cocky – besides being out of place in a professional environment.
That brings us to the increased use of shorthand on TikTok and X (formerly Twitter). The shorthand continues to leak over into workplace communication. DW, for example, means “don’t worry.” Relax. Everything is OK unless you haven’t the foggiest idea of what DW means. (On a sidenote, OK or okay is from the 1880s and is supposedly an intentional misspelling of oll korrect. Who knew? Shorthand has been around for a long time.)
Next, we have ICYMI. This one is most likely directed at clueless boomers on various occasions, because it means “in case you missed it.” Of course we missed it! You insist on using shorthand!
HMU? That stands for “hit me up.” That is, call me. That could be irritating enough that you would rather just slug them.
“AFK” is short for away from keyboard. Really? Really! And we need to know this why? A little too much self-importance. Next thing you know, they will be “ITB” –– in the bathroom.
“TBH.” “To be honest.” Yes, honesty would be appreciated but isn’t it superfluous to tell us you are a professional and not prone to lie when communicating with your coworkers.
Then there’s “SMH” –– “shaking my head.” Most likely a millennial is using it when frustrated that Boomers don’t understand all this shorthand.
Here’s another time waster. “WYD.” What (are) you doing? Sitting at your desk looking up shorthand slang terminology – DUH!
I would like to think that the use of shorthand will taper off one day, eventually, maybe, but sadly I know it will most likely proliferate to the point when I don’t understand half the communication I receive via email or in texts.
No worries. I’ll get ChatGBT to translate everything for me.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon. But that’s not all. You can also purchase the Best of BoomSpeak on Amazon.