I Was Thinking . . . Modern Shorthand
Before everyone carried a phone/camera/recorder/minicomputer with them at all times, people used to write things down. If you wanted to do it in a hurry, you learned shorthand. But even if you never learned that now outdated skill, it has become necessary for all of us to learn another sort of shorthand.
This shorthand is called acronyms. Those initials that are put together to represent something else. Some of these abbreviations have been a part of our lives for a long time. The IRS is probably as well known to Americans as the FBI or USA. The government is really good at creating initial agencies.
But they don’t have a lock on this type of shorthand. Many areas have developed their own acronyms sometimes known only to them. The government, business, education, and even the medical field has created these short cuts.
It really took off during the depression when FDR created the New Deal with an alphabet of agencies and programs. His first was the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corp. It was followed by the WPA, TVA, Social Security Adm. SSA, FDIC, FCC, SEC, FHA, and the REA to name a few.
Once it started it seemed like there was no stopping the government. We now have the BIA, CIA, CDC, DOT, EPA, FAA, FEMA, FDA, HUD, ICC, OSHA, TSA, the VA plus hundreds more. We even have a nickname for the President of the United States (POTUS).
Being a former teacher, I’m well aware of the education speak abbreviations. As a teacher, I belonged to the BEA, MEA, HUTV and NEA. In any one class I might need an IEP for a student with ADD or an ESL student. Another student with a high GPA might be preparing for an AP test while being the president of FCCLA.
Teachers were formed into PLCs to learn OBE and prepare kids for MCAs.To keep the PTA happy, you had to watch out for too much PDA by students. Our PE teacher was also the AD who had to go by MSHSL rules to schedule games in the HVL.
But education isn’t alone with acronyms, look at the medical profession. Before you can see an MD, you visit with an LPN or a RN. If they diagnose you with a GI problem or an UTI they may order a MRI so you don’t end up in the ER and that might lead to a stay in ICU. Hopefully you get help before you are DOA and have to RIP.
FYI if you want to travel today you should check with AAA to see if OPEC raised the price of gas so you have to dip into your IRA or at least hit the ATM if you can remember your PIN. Once on the road you can eat at KFC or look for an A&W, TCBY, or a DQ for a snack or just eat some M&Ms. You might be driving a BMW, GMC, VW, GTO, or MG and just hope you don’t get stuck behind a big UPS or FedEx truck.
It you decide to fly, you have to go the MSP ASAP and get past the TSA to fly AA and they will tell you your ETA.
BTW, since I’m an AARP member and no VIP or CEO I’m AKA a senior citizen and AWOL from work. But OMG, if I don’t finish this column PDQ the DCI will fire me.
Did You Ever Wonder? - Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star have the same tune?
Photo: I was thinking Ron Albright