Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NOYS BOYS and other Acronyms
I've always been interested in language and acronyms in particular have intrigued me. Acronyms are quite prevalent in technical fields and often have the impact of creating a "language" that is only known to members of a particular community. When I worked for legal and tax publisher Commerce Clearing House, they published an internal directory of all the three and four letter acronmyms in use so sales, editorial, technology and fulfillment could all be on the same page, so to speak.

A few recent sightings got me thinking about these constructions. For example, I received a vacation response from someone at Google, the subject line had OOO (Out Of Office). I also read some reviews of the swag bag at the All Things Digital Conference and learned that SWAG = Stuff We All Get.

With a 7 year old in the house, we've come up with our own lexicon for everday words and happenings. Here are a few of my favorites:

RB = Roast Beef
BOYS = Both On Your Side. This occurs during raucous badminton matches where both shuttlecocks wind up on one side of the net.
NOYS = None On Your Side. See above
OOB = Out Of Bounds

Of course when guests come over they have no idea what in the heck we are talking about until we indoctrinate them into our badminton fraternity. Then they know the language and can join the community.


graubart said...

The 2 acronyms heard most in my house (from my 9 year-old daughter) are TMI (too much information) and NGH (never gonna happen).

As for SWAG, I wonder how did it get transformed into SCHWAG? Is there a meaning behind the CH or is it just a variation (like Swing and Shwing). See bag of Schwag at for more info

Nancy said...

I'd take acronyms over Ebonics, which is what my two Oak-town girls are becoming increasingly fluent in. This week it's "Because I'm cool like that," a slight improvement over the normal "hecka" which precedes every adjective.

NOYS BOYS? There is some competitive badmintoning happening over there in Keating-land...