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QWYA

January 13, 2009 Leave a comment

You know those acronyms that have passed into written English from instant messaging and texting? Like imho and lol and wtf? (In case you don’t, imho is “in my humble opinion,” lol is “laugh out loud,” and wtf is, well, you can figure it out. It’s my favorite of the bunch, though I’ve never actually used it. I see it mostly in comments to people’s blog posts. Sample use: “I heard that John McCain nominated Sarah Palin to be his vice-presidential candidate. WTF?”)

Well, I have decided to create a new one. This is hard to do. There are so many already. But I came up with one this morning, and as far as I can tell, it’s new. Gail was trying to print something onto a piece of thick green paper, craft paper of some sort, and the printer kept jamming. It couldn’t get the paper to make a 180 degree turn. Every time it jammed, we’d pull the offending sheet out through the opening in the back, then the printer would whir and make all sorts of weird noises for over a minute before settling down and announcing that it was ready for another try. I eventually went off to the kitchen, where I heard Gail say this time the printer was whirring longer than ever. I thought to myself, but didn’t say to Gail, “If it ever stops, quit while you’re ahead.” And then I thought, “quit while you’re ahead” is such a useful phrase that it must have been acronymized by now. QWYA!

Next I did some searches. Wikipedia has a handy list. Checking under the q-acronyms, I couldn’t find QWYA. A google search brings up just one link, to a Facebook group involved in educating people not to smoke. The name of the group is Quit While You’re Ahead, and the acronym is displayed in parentheses.

Based on my research, I think I’m heading into new territory here. If I use QWYA in a text message or blog post, I’ll be starting a trend. I’m going to do it. Feel free to copy me. In fact, please do. Let’s see how soon QWYA enters common usage. (Or should I just QWIA?)

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Categories: Language