Acronyms can stand for anything

       As they prefer everything done fast, among the things learners today excessively do is shortening their words and expressions so as to save time and “energy” and also embarrassment as they no longer spell correctly well. Therefore, they don’t bother to check for spelling or whatever. All that they are interested in is to transmit their messages (  on Whatsapp, facebook, messenger or else ) the fastest. This becomes a habit for them and it has tremendously affected their learning. They write in abbreviation and acronyms, and this serves two main goals, to be quick and in order not to be corrected. If they don’t know how to spell “because”, they either write it “coz” or “b.c.”, this last one is not used by everybody; it is almost exclusive for one or a small group of students. I saw it on one of my students’ paper. He wrote it this way on purpose. He could have written it like this “bicouse“. Most students write this way when they are forced to do. I am sure they won’t be able to write it even in its incorrect spelling form anymore sooner or later. This generation is imposing its own new awkward spelling “rules”.

         I asked the students what “LOL” stands for, and they immediately started giving me what they use and what others use it for,

  • Lots Of Love
  • Loads of Love
  • Laugh(ing) Out Loud
  • Lots Of Laughter
  • Lots Of Luck
  • Load Of Laughs

Whereas the same acronym could stand for anything depending on the settings it was used, for example it could stand for

  • Laughing On Line
  • List of Links
  • Love of Life
  • Language of Love
  • Leg of Lamb
  • Learn Online
  • Live-On-Line
  • Live Out Loud
  • Land of Love
  • Language of Literature
  • Loser on Line
  • Living on Line
  • Love of Literacy
  • Lying Out Loud

But, to my astonishment, one of the students said it can also stand for “Lucifer Our Lord”. Here is the corner stone of the whole subject. Teaching learning skills must guide the digital literacy skills. This culture is blossoming and it is gaining space. No one can stop it now. The worst of all hypotheses is when each one of the learners adopts their own signs which maybe no one else can decipher unless it goes viral on social networks. And the teens quickly adopt anything that goes viral on the net without evaluation, validation, and synchronisation. They accept it as good just because some people on the web say it is. Learning needs critical thinking skills to know what and how things are on the web. It is not all bad, but you need to know exactly what you are navigating for.

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