by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.20
April 6, 2004
IN DALEY HOUSEHOLD, ACRONYMS 'R' US
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- "WAC" was the first acronym I remember but I'm sure they are not new to my generation - and for the benefit of those who call women in the military service "soldiers" instead of WAC's, for Women's Army Corps, I'll spell it out. The acronym WAF was for women in the air force and Wave's were women in the Navy, not an acronym here but an obvious choice for women serving on the high seas.
Whenever we speak the initials as the word they form, we have a new, recognizable word. NATO hasn't been called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since its inception.
Those were acronyms springing quite naturally; today, we are so in love with the idea of a short form we create and sound out the word for what we are saying. Looking back, WASP slipped into our language to designate White Anglo Saxon Protestants in demographic studies or political polls. WESC followed soon after for White Establishment Catholics, different churches, different pews, same ideological bent and neighborhoods.
In the 80s, when all those babies born after World War II were making their way in the world, the term YUP - meaning Young Urban Professional - soon went to YUPPIE, no doubt because it fit their Baby Boomer image.
Then there was YUMPIE, for Young Upwardly Mobile Professional. These were the ones with mobile phones and connections - always connections - everywhere. Now, it seems, this breed of young professionals disdains the use of mobile phones which are apparently connecting the masses - of which they claim no part.
During economic downturns, the work force learns a few acronyms: LIFO, meaning Last In, First Out, or, FILO, meaning the longer you've been there, the longer you stay, First In, Last Out.
I love the computer term WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get, and I like what it signifies - no hidden files or programmed instructions to change what I've written.
Then there is POSSLQ - People of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters. It was a handy acronym for Census forms in 1990, or in an introduction spoken with amusement "This is my POSSLQ," wink, wink, "we met at the Laundromat."
We could make of that what we wanted to: either they were sharing rent and utilities (as room mates do) or they were "shacking up" to use the tried and true expression for whatever else they were doing. It does sound crass, though, doesn't it? Shacks went out with outhouses; however, their biological purposes remain the same in either shack. POSSLQ has a softer sound than MYOB, for mind your own business. And so we do.
"DINKs" is an acronym for the nineties and for today, as well; it means Double Income No Kids. We were once DINKs and, now, wonder of wonders, we are DINKs again.
"Hey, John: We're DINKs?"
Once again, we are both working and have no children. In between the second year of our marriage and the 30th, we had seven kids ready to launch and we accomplished that somewhere in the early nineties. There is no way to force those years into a four or five letter acronym. Perhaps HUG would work for Help Us God, but that was a given. Every minute of every day was different from the one before. Each child passed through ages and stages different from the other and yet, all at the same time.
In between both stages of DINK, a nest was feathered, fledglings learned to fly and then they few the coop!
To continue with the bird metaphor, every year these fledglings return ... not all at once, but, usually, one at a time, along with their own families; not to the nest of their births (as birds fly), but to a sweet little nest we DINKs have feathered for ourselves in the South. There is no acronym here, just two words that say it all : BOOMERANG KIDS.
Oh, the excitement around here when we know they'll be coming. We look for their headlights and wait to see the little children blanketed and swooped into the awaiting bed - "uickly, now, so she won't wake up."
We can wait until tomorrow to see how clever she is. (Parental pride knows no bounds and just as we were showing off these same grownups when they toddled through our lives, we now have to admire their own progeny.) Yes, headlights are great!
Along with being DINKs, we have established a "No Soliciting" policy: "No, you can't have that painting," and "no, you can't have that figurine," and "no, you can't have those albums."
"Because we haven't finished with them yet. And, yes, you can put your name on the back of it to prove you 'called' it first."
The word acronym itself is an acronym: Abbreviated Coded Rendition of Name Yielding Meaning. And, the last acronym I'll offer is DARFC, meaning Ducking And Running For Cover - which is exactly what we'll be doing as soon as we offer our final words from our little nest:
"Yes, headlights are great; but, tail lights are better." High five!