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

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!

Trending on The Airspace