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Define Your World


Recently I ran across a thread of comments on MySpace where a visitor simply left the short text acronym ROTFLMAO. I'had never heard of that. While I am an Internet user that knows the smilies since BBS days, I may be a bit out-of-sync sometimes: I only learned about LOL ("Laugh out loud") a year ago while chatting with a friend. But one can't know everything, right? So some quick Google'ing reveals almost 800K pages hits for 'ROTFLMAO' and of course the answer:  ''The term ROTFLMAO is used widely across the internet. In case you don't know, it is an acronym which stands for "Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off".'' Wow, I didn't know and it sounds like I should. And the original poster on MySpace myst have had a great time.

Acronyms like this can be found for example in http://urbandictionary.com whose headlines includes an interesting slogan: "Define your world!". That's right - in the world of bits-and-bytes, language is not static anymore. It's in a state of constant definition. The Internet is a global Wiki where anonymous visitors can enter new terms and words, other vote on them over time the system bring  new terminologies and acronyms "Digg-Style" into their virtual existence.

As member of IC-Agency, I now wonder if such "namespace" creation could bring any value to advertisers. For example Coca-Cola's 1956 slogan "Coca-Cola ... makes good things taste better" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola_slogans) would translate into the acronym "CCMGTTB". Well, its awkward but hey - a google search for 'CCMGTTB' yields: nada, nothing, No hits! Instant number 1 in search rankings! ... IF you are first defining it AND someone types your acronym into the search bar. But what are blogs and chatrooms for ...

So what do our marketers say about my idea? Haven't asked them yet, but I hope its not GOOMO ("Get Out of My Office"), but rather GIWIHST ("Gee, I Wish I Had Said That"). But they should remember the power of ACRONYM ("Alphanumeric Code for Remembering Odd Names You Make up").

By aschiffler | October 27, 2006 | News & Trends

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