Friday, March 13, 2009
I am not that bothered by acronyms that I don't know, but in the case of SXSW going to the website does one precious little good. Is the message that if you don't know what it is, you are by definition to uncool to be allowed to know (in this case "South by Southwest" an Texas arts festival).
At would point do acronyms stop being time savers for insiders and start being passwords and shibboleths that function more as fences than as gates? At what point can you reasonably expect people to "get" EC, SP and TWRP? Does every potential reader of MM, BDSM or PWP have the faintest idea what any of these mean?
Does this letter salad in our online dialect indicate the existence of a community or a culture? And if so is it a culture that embraces the entire readership or only the section that lurks and engages, or spends a lot of time at urbandictionary? Do we become to used to talking to our author peers, and like the reverse of the scientist pontificating polysylabbically to the uncomprehending masses, forget how to express ourselves to normal readers?
Because typing things out in full may make a less pithy posts, but perhaps one that will make sense to a hell of a lot more people?
[Picture credit: Shibboleth at the Tate Modern]