New Acronyms Infiltrate English Writing and Speech

According to a recent report in The Associated Press (AP), the profusion of new acronyms in writing and speech is of great interest to linguists. Speaking to the AP, professor Scott Kiesling remarked that these shorthand phrases can express a different thought from the words that compose them.

Recently, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper used one such acronym on his show. He reported on a recent incident in which Southern rapper B.O.B. used the public announcement system on a Delta flight to Los Angeles to perform, impromptu, for passengers, according to

Adding the rapper to the show's "RidicuList," Cooper remarked, "now, I'm no expert on B.O.B.'s oeuvre, and I have nothing against him personally. I'm sure he's very talented." However, he noted that the musician's choice of performance space was irresponsible. Cooper concluded, "WTF, B.O.B.," according to the website.

The anchor cleverly sidestepped being overtly offensive and injected humor into his broadcast by using an electronic acronym.

Innovation in language, an ever-evolving form, is common. As new expressions enter written and spoken English, spelling and grammar checks may be even more essential for professionals reviewing their communications.