Abbrevs.

22 Sep

I married a boy.  He’s actually quite a man.  For example, he has little to no opinion on the the interior decoration of our home, he enjoys the sport of football, I’ve got him wearing a brown belt with black shoes, he likes dark beers that are flavored with things only really manly men like in their beers, like exotic chiles and stouty grains and, you know … not talking about feelings.  These beers are meaty.  They’re heavy.  They’re black as the secret sins in my heart.

Oh, and also, he owns shoes made by Crocs.  His reason is that he has flat feet and they’re very supportive and comfortable.  But know what else is supportive and comfortable?  Your wife staying with you because you don’t wear terrible shoes!

So he’s a very manly man.  I want to be clear about this.  But he also has some qualities that — and I want to make sure I’m using the proper and respectful terminology here — make him a foo-foo Tinker Bell.

Most of these qualities make being married to him even more excellent.  One incredible example of one of his wonderful qualities is that he actually DOES talk about his feelings.  So fortunately, this means he shares things he thinks with me.  Unfortunately, this means that I have to know what he’s thinking.  Like recently (and this actually happend), a certain Taylor Swift music video was playing, and he asked, “What in the world are they wearing?” and I said, “Well, I think this song is Romeo and Juliet themed, so I think they’re going with that,” he his response, instead of being something like, “Huh,” or “I like to eat raw meat while watching a football match” or “Hold on, I have to go leave the toilet seat up,” he says, scoffing, “Well, those costumes are really more Victorian than Elizabethan.”

UPDATE: Just one minute ago, I asked him what the context was wherein he made that comment (I couldn’t remember what we were watching).  His face fell a little, because I think he realized what was happening in this blog, and he told me it was a Taylor Swift music video (which we were just watching for, um, research!).  But then he followed that up by saying, “I mean, they really weren’t completely Victorian.  It’s just … they were NOT Elizabethan.”

He has another habit, though, that is not so much a qualification for him to be a judge on Project Runway, and is moreso lifted from teenage girls.

The man loves abbreviations.  Or, as he actually and always calls them, abbrevs.

I’ve gotten so used to it that I sometimes forget how much it happens.  Then I am reminded.  For example, we were with some friends the other week, trying to decide where to eat, and he suggested (using the term that he always does) that we dine at Noods and Co.  I didn’t think anything of it.  Everyone else slowly backed out the door and ran screaming from the parking lot.  “Something about nudes!” I could hear them yelling.  “Never socialize with them again!”

He abbreviates everything.  He abbreviates so much that I cannot even think of adequate examples (and neither can he; I just asked).    I can tell you that he does refuse to say that he is going to “Hop in the shower,” choosing instead to exclusively claim that he is going to “hop show.”  And just a few minute ago, when we were talking about going to see The Master later this afternoon, he asked if, in the movie, “Philly Hoffs” (Philip Seymour Hoffman) played a cult leader.

Even outside the world of teenage girls and my husband, abbreviations and acronyms are important.  I don’t need to teach you about how to make abbreviations (“… and you can write M … R … S … and then a period; what does that stand for?  Oh, those letters represent a lady who thinks she’s better than you on account of you just don’t understand how much a KitchenAid just really revolutionizes life in the kitchen”); however, I do see a lot of people running into problems when it comes into the punctuation and style of certain abbreviations and acronyms, so let’s just talk about a few.

First of all, for a lot of abbreviations, I can’t tell you things like whether you should use upper-case or lower-cases, periods or no periods.  These things are largely determined by style guides (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).  So invest in a book or use the Internet for this.

Here are a few areas I can weigh in on, though.

1. In formal writing, before you use an abbreviation, you must first spell out the whole word.  For example, you might say, “The American Psychological Association (APA) has a lot of thoughts about abbreviations.”  From then on in the paper, you may safely just use APA.

2. Those pesky Latin abbreviations.  You know, i.e., e.g., et al.  When you should use them?  Well, sparingly, and when you do, most experts say only in parentheses.  And just for reference, here are the differences between them:

i.e.  This stands for “id est,” which means “that is” or “in other words” when translated.

e.g.  This stands for “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.”

et al. This stands for “et alii,” which means “and others.”

A lot of people have a hard time knowing when to use i.e. and when to use e.g.  It’s a little self-explanatory.  Since e.g. means for example, you use it when you are giving examples (e.g. like this).  You should use i.e. when you want to re-state something (i.e. you want to say it in another way).  These words should NOT be italicized.

3. Like I said, different stylebooks have different rules about where to use periods and commas.  For example, most style books recommend using periods after degrees (like B.S. or Ph.D.), but APA says, “No way, Jose, Phd!”  The best advice that I can give you is to always go to your stylebook.

4. Here are some things you should NOT abbreviation:

-Days of the week or months of the year in normal writing (like in the middle of a sentence)

-Words at the beginning of the sentence (unless the sentence starts with a title like Dr. and Mrs.)

-State names except when mailing letters

-Words that start with the letters a-s-s.  It’s … just good practice.

Again, I want to assure everyone that my husband is totally a dude.  For example, today, I was like, “I really believe I can make a difference in the educational and professional world!” and he said, “Go make me a sandwich, your role is in the home!”

He’s so sweet.

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