Ask, you idiot.

Oh well. So much for being smart and all that, some days just aren't meant for you.

(Phone ringing waiting for Partner to pick up)
Hello. (Partner sounding busy)
Hi, you've got a minute? Can I talk to you?

Yeah sure... (Partner's voice changing now, expecting Something Serious)
No, no, nothing serious. Just wanted to tell you to mark 12th September on your calendar. It's a Saturday and X friend's birthday. He's invited us...

Yeah sure. Where is it? (Partner sounding relieved and back to sounding busy now)
Oh it's some place called TBA. Y'know like Q'Bar? Do you know where it is?

(Partner v.e.r.y. silent)
Hello? You there? No worries if you don't know, I can always ask him later...

(Partner choking)
Hello? Are you all right? Are you choking? You don't have to worry about TBA right away you...

(Me, shocked) (Partner still laughing)
Baby... TBA is not a place. It's To Be Announced.
OH. (Scowl)
(Me, hang up the phone)

So that's the story and no matter how many of you would have known instantly what TBA was, I declare a war on abbreviations. I've had it with them. If RSVP wasn't enough -- and I still can't remember the damn thing -- now we've got a whole plethora of them.

There are the email ones, from cc, bcc, fyi, tc etc. To food-related, BYO, F&B etc. To the various gradings in movies, PG, UG, M, R... To the various emoticons. :P And of course, the one that I really cannot stand but am being forced to use... "xx" at the end of letters/mails/sms-es. It's not even an abbreviation, it's an alphabeticon (sic). Initially, and I dare you to laugh, I thought it meant 'over-and-out'... Till I received an email with 'xxxxx' and there was a sudden ping! in my brain and I realised an 'x' meant a kiss. (So 'xxxxx' means the other is slobbering over you?)

Sigh. I've learned HTML to a degree, can understand CSS and even RSS (not Rashtriya Seva Sangh)... but I really cannot keep up with all this anymore. I can't. I am 30. Please no. :(

PS: While looking for an appropriate picture to depict 'idiot' (should've used my own), came across Fyodor Doestoevsky's The Idiot and this quote from the book,
"...nothing offends a man of our day and our race more than to tell him he is not original, that he is weak-willed, has no particular talents and is an ordinary person." (Part One, Chapter Ten)
And to think that was first published in 1868. It holds true today as well, or so I think. No?


Passionate Goof said...

I find these abbreviations excessively irritating too. Enough with it already I say!The worst is when people use the ones from their specialised field of work, and I have absolutely zero idea.

Miss M said...


So THAT'S what TBA is supposed to mean! I never EVER understood what it meant, but I didn't want to make a fool out of myself by asking someone about it. Cos apparently everyone is well-informed about these abbreviations BUT me!

JB said...

@ Miss M: "You are not alone." ;)

@ Goofy: Hah. TDKWWAT.

Imp's Mom said...


oh no pls dont tell me its a 30's thing!!! TBA never heard of it... for the life of me cant remember RSVP... never could anyways... and the xxxx...lesser said about them the better... took me a while to figure that one out!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Hehehe! Thanks for the laugh :)

As for the abbreviations...I thought I was the only one. I blame the 90's chat rooms and the more recently discovered language (NOT!!) of SMS-ese.

shrey said...

good one 'JB'

sulagna ™ said...

i actually asked my boss whats a SPOC??? i dint know it at all:) :) and his reply mail came with a smiley (single point of contact) damn damn!!!

this made a really good read :)

JB said...

@ Imp's Mom: xx, tks 4 dat.

@ Mamma Mia: Ah please, from hot, cool, chill to now 'rad'. By the time I have children, I think we'll need to go back to sign language to communicate.

@ Shrey: YOU keep quiet. You come from an industry where they create abbreviations. (heh heh)

@ Sulagna: Good boss that. My bosses were usually the type who'd mail back saying, "You should know." And good on you for asking, unlike me you didn't pretend you knew it. :)

June said...

Funny! I havent come across TBA yet. But yeah I can live with an LOL and I only VERY recently discovered what IMHO and IRL mean.

JB said...

@ June: Er, care to share the IMHO and IRL?!

shrey said...

hmmm!do we? Maybe... Ok so will keep quiet :)

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