Brenda’s Blog – February 23, 2021
“Now I know my ABCs, don’t you sing along with me?”
The last line of the children’s song also defines much of how we live today. We shorten “by the way” to BTW, “laugh out loud” to LOL, and otherwise crude profanities to benign letters.
A response to reduced character space on text or twitter has become a natural element in our communication style. We shortcut, we edit, and we abbreviate. There is an acronym for every major commercial, and relational exchange.
My brain is wired to unwrap these often arcane letter combinations. Way before the practice became part of the social fabric I loved to guess what letters represented. A strange mental exercise, I know.
With the invention of the telegraph, communication changed drastically. Paying per word forced people to say more with less. The florid Victorian style of writing quickly died away replaced by punchy, well-devised phrases. Newspaper headlines told stories in short bursts with emotional impact. When the American public embraced modern Madison Avenue techniques “twenty-five words or less” became the standard for prize-winning entries.
This is perhaps efficient, but I wonder about the effectiveness. Could we be losing opportunities to fully express our love for one another with just an X and O? Is it possible our connection with others is short-circuited because we have no three letter solutions to problems?
The hymnist wrote: “O, for a thousand tongues to tell of my great redeemer’s love.” Lehman’s words thrill me even after more than 7 decades of singing them: “Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole Though stretched from sky to sky.”
Certainly there is a time for PTL, but what about time to extol the love of God with as many words and as much emotional depth we can deliver?