I was reading that the phrase OMG has been used before, despite teenagers perhaps thinking they invented it. Apparently a certain Lord Fisher, wrote it in a letter to Winston Churchill way back in 1917. I think the difference in 1917 was that although OMG may have been written, I'm pretty sure no one was walking around actually saying "Oh Em Gee".
Mind you, (she says, warming to the subject), given that telegraphs were a main form of communication until about fifty years ago, you'd have thought acronyms like LOL and BTW would have been fully integrated into our language by now. Alas not, and I know I'm not the only mother who thought her kids were saying "Lots of Love" instead of Laughing Out Loud for a while there. (BTW, by the way, is the acronym for, well, "by the way".)
Some acronyms I get from the teens are pretty easy to decipher if I read them out loud, but some are slightly more "sketch". (That's teen speak for "dodgy").
The answer to "When are you coming home", - ("IDK"), threw me at first. "What, he's at the Dairy Queen and he can't spell?" (It means "I don't know", which wasn't exactly a satisfactory answer anyway.) And although LMAO makes sense to me now (Laughing my A** Off), I always have to stop and figure out ROTFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing).
Acronyms are nothing new though. I grew up writing quite a lot of them (but rarely saying them out loud; that would just be ridiculous, wouldn't it?)
TTFN - Ta ta for now
ASAP - as soon as possible
AKA - also known as
AWOL - absent without leave
PTO - please turn over
OTT - over the top
PS - post script
And, of course, my fave -
PBAB - please bring a bottle.
Quick US/UK point - the American version of PBAB is BYOB - Bring Your Own Bottle.
So it appears that us crusties have been ahead of the curve with our little acronyms all along. I'd like to think they're just not as crude. I mean WTF?