FILED IN: Parenting

Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dad

Al Gore’s Internet™ has become a dizzying array of shorthand and acronyms, and my inner grumpy old man can’t stand it. Emails, blogs and forums are littered with them — BTW, KWIM, STFU, KFC. I knew people had already given up learning how to spell now that spellcheckers are ubiquitous. The only people who care anymore are those on the freak show spelling bee circuit. But the giving up of entire words is the final straw. Why are some insisting that immigrants learn to read and write English, when the American public has already abandoned it? Reading and writing test scores of our nation’s youth are not encouraging, and have been stagnant for almost 15 years. This new lazy online speak surely isn’t going to help. I can already see the Shakespeare class of the near future — "2 B / not 2 B?"

"romeo, whr u at?"

The dumbing down of online communication is working its way into every corner of society like a virus. Don’t believe me? Here’s a recent email I received from a client:

hey, p — need u to make a quick change 4 me. its last minute but u know how it is, im sure u can relate, lol. 🙂

Is this supposed to be a business correspondence or a love note from Prince? My response:

OMG, R U serious? WTF?! Knock that shit off B4 U find your site h4X0r3d. l8r, p.

Okay, I didn’t really send it, but god, how I wanted to. I should delete it from my drafts folder so I don’t fall victim to an episode of late night drinking and emailing. (For those of you who see nothing wrong with the above exchange, U R DED 2 ME.)

There is specific shorthand that prolifically dots the parenting boards — DH, DD, and DS to name a few. But like a kid named Andrew Samuel Sullivan, sometimes the initials don’t come out so well. Take, for instance, the ones used to describe a parent’s working (or lack thereof) status. Here, moms definitely come out ahead.

A "stay at home mom" is a SAHM — it sounds perky and upbeat like that girl Sam you knew back in high school. A "work at home mom" is a WAHM!!, and how can you go wrong with a nice bit of onomatopoeia? A "work out of home mom" is a WOHM, like the soothing sound of a Buddhist chant.

And dads, what do we get? The short end of the stick yet again. Myself, I run a successful business out of my home. That, apparently, would make me a WAHD. As in dick-WAHD. Or the lucky soul who doesn’t have to be an earner? A SAHD. "Did you hear Dave lost his job so Julie went back to work, and now he stays home with the kids? How SAHD."

Since I can’t seem to convince the A.G.I.™ to just entirely give up using acronyms, I hereby declare a new one to encompass all of us fortunate fathers that don’t have to toil in the soul sucking world of TPS reports and Dilbert-laden cubicle walls. Something more positive, more upbeat — something that truly exalts us to our proper status: "Giving, Loving, Always Available Dad".