Monday, September 30, 2013


I laughed the first time I read the letters TLDR, which mean "too long, didn't read." It's a text or twitter phrase, which not so politely tells you your communication was too long. Alas, we live in an abbreviated world. We like short quick blasts of information, preferably of the more exciting kind - dare I say quickies?

I mused about the number of great authors, whose works might never have been read had earlier generations adopted the TLDR attitude. Edmund Spencer"s The Faerie Queene, John Milton's Paradise Lost, all the works of Dickens, Austen, Tolstoy etc.

I presume that texters, tweeters, even bloggers of the short post variety like their verbal entertainment in small readable chunks. Maybe there isn't the time these days to really "get into" a longer narrative or involved poem. In fact, who even reads poetry these days?

Slow Down

When you consider that a good number of people are holding down several part time jobs or a full time job with a bit of moonlighting, who has the time to read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner? and who really cares? There is no time to appreciate the aesthetics, when you need to peddle very quickly just to provide the basics.

I know a lot of people will disagree with me. Many will say, TLDR has nothing to do with time and everything to do with the hubris of a self-centred population! I am trying to be kind by posting both sides of the equation.

Another amusing abbreviation is TMI - too much information. My youngest uses this a lot. He will always use it, if we are describing someone's medical condition, or what he should be doing, or not doing, at a job interview. I wish, I had had this casual and very cool retort to use with my various math teachers over the years, instead of just saying, "I don't understand." TMI would have put me in control and told the teachers that they were in the wrong by overloading me :) - it might have worked!!

The fact that we have the number of abbreviations that we do though, is proof that we are travelling at the speed of light into another world.

What are your favourites?


  1. Hadn't come across TLDR before! I shall have to practice the art of LIM (Less Is More)! I like ROTFL - it makes you smile back!

  2. I have heard of TMI but never TLDR. I think the biggest abbreviation I use is LOL!

  3. I'm not a fan of abbreviations, especially when it comes to branding. For example, I will never understand why Les Ballets jazz de Montréal became BJM Danse. Does it really attract young people? As for Twitter abbreviations, NSFW makes me smile.