08 February 2010

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

I was standing on line, waiting for my lunch, eavesdropping on the people in front of me. At one point, she said to him "oh, yeah, and they want it ay-sap" – which got me thinking. When you say ASAP out loud, do you say "ay-sap" or "ay-ess-ay-pee"? Or do you just say "as soon as possible", which, to me anyway, rolls off the tongue more easily? What about when you see it on paper and read it to yourself?

How about WTF? Do you say "double-you–tee–eff" or "what the fuck"? "What the fuck" has 40% fewer syllables than saying each letter individually, and you get to speak that magically strong multi-purpose word. Fuck.

According to that bastion of definition, Urban Dictionary, "roffle" is a verb derived from pronouncing ROFL as a word. Have you ever actually said "roffle"?

Wikipedia has a staggeringly long and quite fascinating article on Acronyms and Initialisms - which discusses none of these three.

I think, though, my favorite conglomeration of initials is Initials:

LBJ took the IRT
Down to 4th Street USA
When he got there
What did he see?
The youth of America on LSD




Luckily the girlie hasn't yet asked me to explain this or any of the other songs from Hair.


Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I never say ASAP but I write it. I say "immediately."

I write "WTF" and think to myself "what the fuck" and try never to say it (given small children); I tend to say, "Duuuuude..." (Very 90s, I know!)

Stimey said...

Always "as soon as possible" and always "what the fuck." The latter is usually followed by additional expletives.

Pinky said...

"Ay-sap" makes me cringe. "WTF" should be pronounced "what the fuck." And I have never heard of "roffle" until now.

alejna said...

I definitely say "as soon as possible" and "what the fuck."

Funny that you bring this up now, because I was just having a conversation about the pronunciation of "lolcat" yesterday."L-O-L-cat."

But I otherwise read "lol" as "L-O-L." (And for the record, I never write "lol." I'm more likely to type out "that made me laugh out loud." Or "ha!" KWIM?) (For that matter, I never unironically type "KWIM" or "BTW," by the way. I'm old-fashioned like that.)

susan said...

I don't think I'm much for pronouncing initialisms--if I were reading your first paragraph aloud, I'd say ASAP, but I don't think I'd generate it in a sentence of my own. And I'd probably just say "what the fuck?" if I were inclined to say that, too.

Bibliomama said...

Nothing makes me feel like a cranky old man in a rocking chair with pants pulled up to my nipples like reading chat acronyms. U have 2? Y R U too lazy to just write the damned words????!!!! Okay, I might have used WTF a time or two, but I would never pronounce the letters out loud.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I vow never, ever to say "roffle." Never.

nonlineargirl said...

Please shoot me if I say roffle.

I live my professional life in a land of acronyms (CMS, OHA, IRB, HHS...) which I think makes me less interested in acronyms in my non-working time. (then again, I work at a computer and still use it other hours...)

YourFireAnt said...

I agree with you on "as soon as possible". The others all sound doofy to me.

FreshHell said...

I will say double-u-tee-eff if I need to say "what the fuck" in front of children. It's handy that way. I never ever say ay-sap. That's just moronic.

niobe said...

Speaking of which, our 4th grade science teacher, Mr. Rivers, used to play tapes? records? during class, including Hair. I particularly liked Sodomy (the song, that is), which taught me several new and interesting words. Mr. Rivers, alas, left abruptly in the middle of the term.

painted maypole said...

i think of WTF as "what the fuck" but LOL as simple L-O-L

Aunt Becky said...

As a nurse, there are a gazillion acronyms. My favorites are F/U and SOB. OBVIOUSLY.

phenom said...



heidi said...

I often say Double Ewe Eff. or even Double Ewe Eff EFF! if the situation warrants.

mayberry said...

My response to "roffle" is WTF?

Gwen said...

Oh, I say "what the fuck". Usually repeatedly. Until one of my daughters chastises me for swearing too much.

MDTaz said...

I know all the words to Frank Mills. Do you?