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It’s all about acronyms

August 9, 2017
Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

Lately, I feel like I'm living in an alphabet soup world.

Everywhere I turn, I'm greeted by acronyms, those abbreviations formed from the initial letters of the words in a phrase or name. No matter where the acronym explosion started, their use has become an expanding part of our vocabulary.

Every area of interest has its own collection of letter tags. Television is brought to us by NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN.

And the newspapers communicate the world to us through frequent use of well-known acronyms. We can learn about the latest VIPs involved in scandals, and catch up on the sporting news from the NFL and NBA. In addition, the financial pages keep us informed about the current standing of the DJIA.

Then there's the whole new vocabulary being invented daily by the new generation of folks conversing electronically. Such phrases as POS, "parents over shoulder," and IMHO, "in my humble opinion" speed communication along with no loss of meaning.

But in this expanding world of letter-based short cuts, the area I find most interesting - and entertaining - is the growing tendency to turn groups of letters into words representing segments of society.

YUPPIES were among the first folks singled out for such alphabetical honors. These Young Urban Professionals have become symbols of a whole generation.

Other popular acronyms include WASPs "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants" and DINKS, "Double Income, No Kids."

Until recently, I felt left out of the soup. I thought there was no acronym I could claim for myself.

I was wrong.

The folks cooking up this alphabet soup have included several designations for us more mature types. One I came across was close. YGM stands for Young Grandmothers. By adding NS, I was able to join in an off-shoot of this group. My branch is the Not So Young Grandmothers.

Several of our Florida friends consider themselves GUPPIES, Greyhaired Urban Procrastinators. These are folks who make up their minds on Dec. 26 to head to Florida by January 1.

Then there's the group my Atlanta friend, Tom, claims for his own. A comfortably retired southern gentleman, Tom told me, "I'm a WOOFIE." That stands for Well Off Older Folks."

After some searching, I recently came across the acronym for the group I can relate to. I'm a FRUMP. That's a Frugal, Responsible, Unpretentious Mature Person.

FRUMPS tend to wear out-of-fashioned clothing because comfort is more important than style.

FRUMPS hang on to everything from aluminum foil to gift wrap and rubber bands.

FRUMPS clip grocery coupons and shop on senior discount days.

FRUMPS reuse as much as they recycle. And they stretch food budgets with rice and macaroni casseroles.

I suspect I have lots of company in the FRUMP category. And for all of us, isn't it nice to know we are part of a friendly group? Without benefit of meetings, officers, dues or by-laws we can claim membership with like-minded folks.

We can enjoy a little cup of that alphabet soup for ourselves.

I've always wanted to be a woman of letters. As a FRUMP, I've finally made it.

In keeping with the theme of this little mosey along life's highway, I send you my heartfelt wishes for the coming week.

MTFBWY: May The Force Be With You!



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