Friday, January 13, 2012

HNY to you, too

HNY, a friend signed off her email. HNY? What's that? I wondered.

Since I traded my office as a public relations agency executive for an office in my house where I write in relative solitude, I often feel completely out of it when it comes to the latest trends. My writing genre choices don't help - a memoir about my childhood in the 1950s and now historical fiction set in the early 1900s.

These days I spend my time trying to put my head in an era without electricity, a time when horse and buggies were the most common conveyance, a time when a 'glimpse of stocking' was something shocking. It takes a concerted effort to strip away all allusions to electricity, air travel, and sex. Actually, sex is all allusion, so that's a different issue.

One of the things I always enjoyed about working in the public relations world was being on top of the current pop business phrases - "tipping point" and "at the end of the day," for instance.

Alas, I find myself slipping further and further behind. The 2012 Banished Words List actually includes words I still like and use, like "Amazing!" It does not help that I don't use a smart phone. I have a cell phone, but I seldom use it. My texting ability is limited to 'ok.' And I sometimes get that wrong.

Perhaps Twitter will help. I'm trying it out - @CABodensteiner. For someone who is challenged to write short blogs, having only 140 characters forces me to abbreviate.  Twitter demands I keep one toe in the 21st Century.

Hence my problem with HNY. All of a sudden, people are signing off seasonal messages with HNY. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that meant Happy New Year.

Oh well. HNY to all of you!


  1. Carol - Your post today really resonnated with me! I recently purchased an iphone so I am more connected with the texting language. However, a short time ago I was the program chair for our calligraphy guild. A member emailed the list of participants using "text" abbreviations...only I didn't realize that. After searching the calligraphy directory for over thirty minutes searching for "LMK", I had to write her and ask "Who is LMK?". I now understand LMK (Let me know) and LOL (Laugh out Loud). Until you wrote what HNY meant....I wouldn't have guessed that! Perhaps there should be a special dictionary just for us so we can be connected or rent a grandkid for the afternoon to get up to speed! Thanks for the post LOL Sara

  2. There are so many possible meanings for abbreviations. A Des Moines Register columnist wrote about a list for old geezers in this morning's paper. It was funny enough, but I bet it was even funnier if you know what the abbreviations meant to young people! I'll have to post on that, too.