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Texting “Oh For Cute” (OFC)

24 Dec

I’ve never heard the phrase “Oh, for Cute” anywhere but in Minnesota. It’s not something new and hip, like artistic types using the phrase, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” in rapid fire succession to express unmitigated and emphatic agreement in the coolest way ever. I’m no linguist – unless there is a way to twist the definition into “somebody really liking linguini” – but I do enjoy listening to language and phrases.

I started thinking about phrases the other day when a friend – in this instance, I’ll use the made up name of David Swirnoff – pulled me aside (it was really only a verbal pull aside because we were talking on the phone) and told me that I use the phrase “at the end of the day” a lot. Dear and good natured readers, this is the kind of honesty that I really like to hear. This is coming from the person who for many years has impersonated all of the slightest mannerisms or speech patterns of all his friends. Once I asked a friend what I did or said that he could mimic.

He said, “Nothing.”

“Really? Nothing?”

He responded that I didn’t really do or say anything interesting that he could put his finger on. Then I realized it was because I was too busy doing impersonations of other people all the time. Maybe this would have been admirable, had I made a good living at such a thing. But I had not. I then decided to tone it down a bit. And tone I did. Now, I mostly listen and become amused – inside my head – by the words and mannerisms of my fellow beings.

A few years ago, when I started to text, I became intrigued with the phrases and the acronyms for the phrases. But I didn’t catch on quickly. My text messages seldom use acronyms and can run into the paragraphs. I hate to report, but I had the wrong meaning of LOL for almost one year. I thought it meant “Lots of Luck”. Usually if someone texted LOL to me after one of my texts, I assumed they were wishing me “Lots of Luck” with my problem or maybe even “Lots of Luck” with me being able to write less than a paragraph

It wasn’t until I heard it in person by a woman saying LOL after she heard a joke. Then she “Laughed Out Loud”. I immediately got it and immediately found it redundant in this instance. Why would she say it and do it. I then stopped myself from being so judgmental.  Maybe she worked in the subtitling or captioning industry and was just used to showing both forms of communication.

Just a short time ago a friend’s daughter was at our house while the friend ran some errands. She texted me “OMW I’ll be there in 5.” I hate to say it, but my first thought was that she had typed, “Oh my word, I’ll be there in 5.” I never heard her speak like this before. It’s truly and sadly amazing how confused I was as to why she would talk like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. But I just thought it was different. I saw that my wife – I’ll refer to her, for practical purposes, as Cynthia – was included in this group text. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Why would she say, “Oh, my word” to begin that text,” I said, squinting because my brain hurt so much.

She looked at me coolly (not “hip”coolly, but “cold” coolly). She paused from reading her book and I waited for her eyes to march all the way from the back of a freezer where they had been made cold. Then I saw her cold eyes squint because I was actually hurting her brain.

“OMW means On My Way.” Her icicle eyes slid back in front of the fire that was her book.

“Oh,” I said, leaving off the “my word” part.

So, it was actually me who was the Dorothy. Why, in heaven’s name, would “Oh my word” come to the front of the line in my head? Come to think of it, why did I just use the phrase “why, in heaven’s name?” (WIHN)

Maybe it could be my job to come up with the acronyms. What if there are Scandinavian women of a certain age, texting in Minnesota. I could let them know that they should use “OFC” instead of typing out all of the “Oh, for cute.” Maybe the hipsters had not figured out that the way to vehemently agree with someone via text is to type “YYY” instead of wasting their valuable time slogging through “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. Maybe I could end my wrap up statements with “ATEOTD” instead of always saying, “At the end of the day.”

But I want to take it a step further. I want to become the overseer of text. If I could win this position I would create a searchable text glossary (I have not even Googled it, but yes, I’m sure it already exists. So please humor me). I will come up with new acronyms like “GHRN” for “Get home right now” – you know, for the teens. But my new favorite will be a phrase that shouldn’t be used often. It’s “MGMA”.

Kind reader (KR), please forgive me if I digress, but I need to relay the origin of “MGMA”. Just the other evening, my beautiful and loving wife – who I shall not mention her name again as to avoid her irritation with my doting – was preparing for herself a hot toddy of sorts. A small glass to take the edge off a winter’s eve. A glass with a scant amount of honey flavored whiskey. This glass was presented on the counter awaiting some cherry juice. This glass was perched next to a plate of crackers and cheese and a glass of apple juice, not far away, for our dear and sweet cherub of a child named Iris.

Iris, being still three months shy of the age of six pulled herself upon one of the stools next to the counter island. While Iris’ mother was peering into the refrigerator, searching for the elusive cherry juice, she asked her loving mother if the drink on the counter was hers. Now, her caring and thoughtful mother had placed her apple juice on the edge of the counter and the wonderful whiskey drink sat back out of reach.

The mother responded “Yes” to the question and there was a moment’s pause. The pause was followed by Iris screaming as if she had been burned. In fact, the mother quickly turned and found that she had been burned. Burned by the quick taste of whiskey going all the way down her throat. Iris cried immensely because the whiskey tasted nothing like apple juice.

The entire family ran into the kitchen to see what was happening. The mother explained to Iris that Iris drank her drink by mistake. Gobs of tears splattered all over everything, like some pathetic sad drunk.

When the siblings arrived at the scene, Lila, the eldest, asked Iris what had happened. Iris slowed her tear rivers for a moment and caught her breath long enough to say, “Mommy gave me alcohol.” This would have been unquestionably less traumatic and social servicey sounding if it could have been “MGMA.”

I will continue to work on understanding the meanings of texts and creating new texts for those not represented fully by the texting general public. At the end of the day, I see this as my job, ATEOTD.


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