What makes good abbreviations
We snack on eggs, drink OJ, cheer at the World Cup, ride the S-Bahn: We like to save a few seconds when speaking and writing. The only question is whether everyone will then understand us - and when we should do without abbreviations...
"hey, am wd. hgw for bday!"
"thx! how are you?"
"Kp, lw here"
These messages are typed into the smartphone in 30 to 40 seconds. It would take about twice as long to write them out:
"Hey, I'm back. Happy birthday!"
"Thanks, how are you?"
"Quite good and you?"
"Okay. What are you doing?"
"No plan, it's boring here."
So it's no wonder that we like to use abbreviations when writing – even if not always as blatantly as in this example. We're also often lazy when we speak: We say PC, World Cup and truck instead of personal computer, World Cup and truck.
Some abbreviations now replace the original word
All of these examples belong to a particularly common and popular type of abbreviation: the acronyms. We either combine a few syllables or several initial letters that sound good together and are easy to pronounce : Kripo ( criminal police) or UFO ( unknown aircraft). Very, very many brand names are also acronyms made up of the names of the company founders – such as ALDI (Al brecht Di skont) or Haribo (Ha ns Rie egelBonn).
With some abbreviations, the original word has even been lost entirely because the short form is simply more practical: Bus originally comes from Omni bus – but nobody says that anymore. Other words can be written shorter, but you still have to pronounce them completely, e.g. B. the word Abbr. itself, o., Hbf, cm, etc.
So it always depends on whether you want to save time when writing or speaking. And you should generally be careful with some abbreviations because they have several meanings: KW can stand for short wave, for example, but also for calendar week or power plant.
Is it always smart to abbreviate words?
Words cannot be abbreviated arbitrarily. Of course, tomorrow you can think about saying "Klazi" instead of classroom, or just "Pabo" instead of lunch. But there is a big problem: Nobody will understand you!
If you ask your teacher if you can eat your pabo in the Klazi, he'll probably give you a puzzled look. You then have to explain to him for a long time that you have come up with new abbreviations... The break is over by the time he has understood everything. So you're wasting time, even though you wanted to keep it short. That's why when we speak, we always weigh up whether it's smart to abbreviate words. Scientists call this middle ground between short and understandable language economics. Also a pretty long word.
Of course, it always depends on who you talk or write to. You would probably never send your grandmother a message like in our example above. She probably wouldn't understand. On top of that, you probably want to be polite and therefore write " goodbye " instead of " cu ". It takes longer and is against our language laziness. But that's exactly why we do it: We show that we take extra time for someone - even if it's just a few syllables.