Like OMG, Winston! No Way!

Every now and then, you read in an op-ed or an academic study that text speak is ruining language. According to some, the Internet has made the use of three letter acronyms and silly abbreviations ubiquitous and thus will slowly erode the precious vocabulary of the equally precious Millennial generation.

But fear not Millennials, Winston Churchill and Lord John Fisher are on your side! It turns out that in 1917, British admiral John Fisher sent a letter to the Honorable Winston Churchill containing the first use of “OMG” as short form for Oh My God. Fisher expressed his desire for a “new order of Knighthood” to be showered “on the Admiralty” with the phrase “O.M.G.” Fisher also perceptively explained the acronym with the parenthetical, “Oh! My God!” Of course it would take well over eighty years for “OMG” to catch on in the popular lexicon, but it’s nice to know that Fisher and Churchill were as progressive as we are in their use of language.

Hopefully, this will be the first in a series of historical validation of text speak. Maybe Amelia Earhart sent a telegram to a friend saying “BRB” before she took to the skies. Maybe Teddy Roosevelt told a friend of his he will “TTYL” before going on a hunt. Or maybe, just maybe, George Washington expressed his frustration with the Redcoats in a letter with “SMDH.” One can only hope.



Commentary Ticker

  • Data Knows Best: Greatest TV Shows Get Ranked and Graphed
    March 26, 2014 | 10:50 am

    Every argument is better with charts and graphs. Sometimes a little linear regression can provide more insight than a long-winded report. GraphTV tests that theory by plotting the ratings of popular television shows. It all started with Breaking Bad. Data guru Kevin Wu was watching its fifth and final season and couldn’t help but think [...]

  • A Coin-Inspired National Spirit, Hopefully
    March 20, 2014 | 11:56 am

    The Lakota Nation, a group of seven Native American bands in North and South Dakota, voted to make a Bitcoin-like crypto-currency called MazaCoin their official currency, according to Forbes. Programmer and Lakota activist Payu Harris believes that the coin will help the Lakota people gain sovereignty over their land. “To be a truly independent state [...]

  • Smartguns and the Promise of Progress
    March 3, 2014 | 9:50 am

    With the recent Sandy Hook elementary school shooting (and the 44 school shootings since) still relatively fresh in our collective minds, and with Congress empirically unable to do anything to stop gun violence at all, it seems slowing, if not stopping, the gun violence epidemic has fallen on a strange coalition of gun manufacturers, Silicon [...]

  • Watch: Movies Without Imaginary Friends
    January 28, 2014 | 12:56 pm

    If you seriously haven’t watched Fight Club yet (or read the book by Chuck Palahniuk) stop and go do that right now. You’re fifteen years late to the craziest party. Okay, you’ve watched it now? Onwards. A visual effects specialist in New York accelerated himself to Internet fame in mid-January when he edited Tyler Durden [...]

  • The Racism of “Racism”: The Complicated Origins of the Term
    January 17, 2014 | 12:27 pm

    “Racism,” like race, was invented. The term “racism” has done a lot of heavy lifting for anti-racism advocates, helping to frame anyone discriminating by race as misguided. Just as with classism or sexism, not only does the word racism give name to an evil, it helps to create the thing as evil in the first [...]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!

Trending on The Airspace