I.M., I Said! The Medium Is The Instant Message

As anyone under the age of 52 can attest, the era of e-mail is over. It’s been supplanted by instant-messaging: a quicker, shorter and far more effective means of conducting interpersonal communications in our fast-paced 24/7 society. Of course, with this has come an entirely new lexicon of abbreviations and acronyms, along with a new set of social protocols. Herewith, then, are some annotated examples, decoded for your personal use, anywhere, at any time: from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., to the confines of a nuclear bunker on the outskirts of the North Hamgyong province of North Korea. As they say in the new I.M. world: Go4it.

Example No. 1: Government Correspondence. How to communicate effectively and concisely in the wake of a crisis.

ExRepFoley@Hotmale.Com: Yo! Denny! What R U wearing today?

Spkr4Ever_Hastert@RNC.org: A thin cloak of deniability, thanx to U.

ExRepFoley@Hotmale.Com: U think U should resign?

Spkr4Ever_Hastert@RNC.org: DEGT. [Don’t even go there.]

ExRepFoley@Hotmale.Com: Well, if things get 2 hot, you always can take a page from my book: Blame alcohol. Child abuse. Trst Me: U can get away w/anything these days w the right xcuse.

Spkr4Ever_Hastert@RNC.org: LOL. [Laughing out loud.] Not. NNT. [Nothing new there.]

ExRepFoley@Hotmale.Com: H8 to run, but I’m late for a D8. SYOTBT. [See you on the book tour.]

Spkr4Ever_Hastert@RNC.org: U2. AA. [Adios, amigo.]

Example No. 2: Diplomatic Correspondence. While the previous example illustrated the advantages of a simple one-on-one conversation, it’s also possible to have “I.M. conference calls” should you have good news to spread.

Lil_Kim@NukesRUs.Gov.NK: Yo! Homies! We set off a nuke! Made the GR8 leap 4Ward!

Ahmadinejad1@SlaughterTheInfidels.Iraq.Gov: Way 2 go! APTA! [All praise to Allah!] When can I buy one?

Hugo_“Smells_like_Sulfur_in_Here”_Chavez@VZ.Gov: Me2!

Osama@Pashtoon.Mtns.Net: WAM! [Wait a minute!] STBIH. [Sorry to break in here.] But I was first in line!

Ahmadinejad1@SlaughterTheInfidels.Iraq.Gov: Osama, baby! LTNS! [Long time no see!]

Lil_Kim@NukesRUs.Gov.NK: Ditto! Why don’t we all get 2gether for a F2F [face to face]?

Osama@Pashtoon.Mtns.Net: ROTCFL. [Rolling on the cave floor, laughing.]

Ahmadinejad1@SlaughterTheInfidels.Gov.Iraq: Let’s smote the infidels!

Lil_Kim@NukesRUs.Gov.NK: Let’s kill the running-dog imperialists!

Hugo_“Smells_like_Sulfur_in_Here”_Chavez@VZ.Gov: STSTF. [Sorry to spoil the fun.] But do you take PayPal?

Lil_Kim@NukesRUs.Gov.NK: Yes. But there’s just 1 prob: The blast wasn’t as big as we Xpected.

Osama@Pashtoon.Mtns.Net: I H8 it when that happens! Didn’t you listen to me? Didn’t I warn you: RTFM! [Read the fucking manual!]

Example No. 3: Political Correspondence. Wherein we examine a conversation between two political professionals—precise, clear and (as yet) still unclassified. Think of it as two virtuosos of voting. A classic performance: “The R.N.C., Unplugged.”

KRove@MasterOfAllEvil.Net: Yo. KM! Whatup?

Melhman@RNC.ORG: U nervous about the election? NK nukes? Foley? Iran? Iraq? Lebanon? Woodward? Housing prices? Loss of the House and Senate and who-knows how many governorships?

KRove@MasterOfAllEvil.Net: Whoa! Slo down! TMI! [Too much information!] DMML. [Don’t make me laugh.] SSLAB. [Still sleeping like a baby.] Between M&U, it’s all going to blow over. Trust me: By Nov 7, Pelosi is going 2B way more frightening than we R. Remember: WMCJ. [White men can’t jump.]

Melhman@RNC.ORG: Xlent! GTH! [Good to hear!]

KRove@MasterOfAllEvil.Net: BTW [by the way], heard anything about Abramoff L8ly?

Melhman@RNC.ORG: Who?

KRove@MasterOfAllEvil.Net: Xactly. C what I mean?

Melhman@RNC.ORG: K-Man, U always B right!

KRove@MasterOfAllEvil.Net: Told U. CuL8R! Nothing to worry abt!

Example No. 4: Journalism. A short look at the work of a master journalist.

Anonymous743@AnonymousSource.Net: So tell me again, Bob. B4 I talk, why should I trust U?

Woodward_Sometimes@TheWashingtonPost.Com: Because I’m your new BF [best friend]. 4Ever!

Anonymous743@AnonymousSource.Net: In that case, DQMOT [don’t quote me on this], but Bush is crazy, Cheney is a loon and Rummy’s gotten hit by 1-too-many squash balls.

Woodward_Sometimes@TheWashingtonPost.Com: Thanx! Gotta run! L8 for Larry King! CU at my book party!

Example No. 5: Broadcast News. Wherein we witness the coining of a new acronym: AFAB (Always Fair and Balanced).

Hannity@FoxNews.Com: Sir. I’m sorry to interrupt. But I see we’ve got all these new young female pundits on our shows. Lip-gloss girls. “Democratic Operatives.” “Republican Strategists.” WADR [With all due respect], who R these women? Where did they come from? What R their credentials?

HeWhoAilesThem@FoxNews.Com: I-Candy.

Hannity@FoxNews.Com: I-Candy???

HeWhoAilesThem@FoxNews.Com: Eye candy, Sean. We all know what everybody’s going to spout today, on every issue. Dems: “The NK nuke is Bush’s fault.” Republicans: “You think Clinton was bet-R? Lil’ Kim broke the agreement in 10 minutes.” So why not have some I-Candy deliver the PTP’s?

Hannity@FoxNews.Com: PTP’s?

HeWhoAilesThem@FoxNews.Com: Predictable talking points. CW: conventional wisdom. HA: hot air. I mean who would you rather watch? Two US [usual suspects] from DC yelling past each other, or two lip-glossed babes in a cat fight?

Hannity@FoxNews.Com: Brill, sir. Just brill.

HeWhoAilesThem@FoxNews.Com: AFAB, Sean. AFAB. Always Fair and Balanced.