Yesterday we were having breakfast together and my younger daughter asked us about PACE. What does PACE mean? From the kitchen, my wife explained it is speed. My younger daughter was struggling inside to explain what she meant. Then she said, “PACE” as in P.A.C.E. Oh, we said you meant acronym? I was amazed at that moment how did she get this fascination for the acronym. Maybe I have been using quite a lot. In fact, I have a list of commonly used acronyms that comes to my mind every now and then.
I recollected my first set of acronyms from my teenage years. I used to show off my knowledge of cars with the FIAT acronym. I always thought that FIAT was Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino till my Italian colleague in Rome enlightened me that it was “Fix It Again, Tony!”
In one of our college interviews, somebody was asked about BPL. I didn’t know what BPL stood as an abbreviation. Having got an opportunity to listen to a lot of personal development trainers during my last 25 years of corporate experience, a few acronyms have stood out. Let me start with FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) to Face Everything And Rise. I used it with gusto in all my interactions with teenagers whenever they gave me an opportunity to present myself to share my stories on public speaking skills. TEAM is the most favored when it comes to teamwork. Together Everyone Achieves More was an inspirational one to make everyone bind together to the same goal. After I got into Toastmasters and started giving speeches FAIL (First Act in Learning) as an acronym lifted me whenever I used to get knocked down. Going by what I see now, we are flooded with acronyms in our day to day usage in professional space. The most common ones I daily use…
If I see a very short word I will try and stretch it, elongate it, and create an acronym around it now. Such has been my attraction and infatuation with acronyms. I have also seen that in a couple of webinars and talks people tend to use an acronym so that you can remember the message. I was chatting with my sister and brother-in-law last week and they mentioned that DIY (Do it yourself) is the buzz word now.
My younger daughter was after us to get a pair of binoculars. You know kids. They see something with their friends and make a demand instantly to have it. I guess it is called BYOD ( Bring Your Own Device) in their parlance. Now she has turned to Piano. I am wondering what to do. I decided to put her through a test. I created a ritual of day to day habits she needs to follow and if she is able to follow through for a week, I will consider her request. She clearly understood one thing. In the event, she fails to follow the habits it will take time before we fulfill her demand. And let me see her lady LUCK (Labour Under Correct Knowledge). I am wishing that she will tell me: TYT.
When I read the paper I used to get intrigued with the use of this acronym SNAFU. I figured the meaning out. It was quite interesting. So acronyms are a mode of expression to encapsulate and make the reader or audience remember the message of the content. It serves as an anchor in some circumstances. So PACE opened up a world for me to comprehend how my younger daughter got fascinated with an acronym which was a new discovery. We are enmeshed now in this digital world with shorter words while longer sentences in chats are becoming a thing of the past. So if we need to connect with teenagers and GenZ we have to get used to their common lingos.
I am reading a book SOAR (Seeing, Organising, Acting, Rejecting) to the top and the writer has used SOAR as an acronym and has created stories around the same. I have an acronym journal as I enjoy the play of words. No doubt, it is a creative process.
Acronyms are useful to a point until they are not. In a couple of my workshops in the past, I used to force-fit a lot of messages into acronyms until I understood what Craig Valentine says, ” When you squeeze your information in, you squeeze your audience out“. So we have to use the right mix of acronyms in our communication (barring this blog which has a blog full).
I do treasure a lot of acronyms from the past but now I am training my eyes for picking up the Genz Social media acronyms and abbreviations. In computing, What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) is a commonly used one which to me is very empowering. In today’s world, we have to see and consume things positively. The need of the hour is Self-awareness, Self-care, Self-management which are some of the components of EI (Emotional Intelligence). Building a system of beliefs to navigate through these times is our main focus. In the process also watch out for a lot of negative information that will come our way through the medium as a message along with messengers.
The crux is to ask yourself in these times is this question, “Are you a SNIOP (Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People)? If the answer is YES (Your Education System), then it is time to reframe to NO (Next Opportunity) along the lines of HOPE and FAITH. This is what my daughter taught my wife and me when she told us the expansion of PACE (Positive Attitude Changes Everything).