Youngsters think using abbreviations and acronyms is a concept that arose with texting and emailing. But we oldies know it's been going on since the War. SWALK (Sealed with a loving kiss) was a popular acronym put on envelopes from the Front. And there were plenty more where that came from. Some of them suitable for a child-friendly blog and some decidedly inappropriate. Among the milder ones were....
FRANCE: Friendship Remains And Never Can End
ITALY: I Trust And Love You
HOLLAND: Hope Our Love Lasts And Never Dies
MALAYA: My Ardent Lips Await Your Arrival
BURMA: Be Undressed/Upstairs Ready My Angel
ENGLAND and LOWESTOFT will have to be left to your imagination (or you can Google them!)
Perhaps as well known as SWALK was NORWICH: (k)Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home.
I'm not sure how the parents of the girls back home reacted to the stronger ones but the girls themselves were happy to use acronyms when writing back. Perhaps the best know was CHINA: Come Home I’m Naked Already and the unmarried soldiers must have dreaded seeing CHIP - Come Home I'm Pregnant!
So we know it went back to the 1930s (and probably the previous War as well). But it’s actually been going on for two thousand years. In Roman times when a Roman wrote to his friend, it was traditional to begin a letter along the lines of ‘I hope you’re well, I’m fine.’ But the Romans got bored with writing "Si vales bene est, ego quidem valeo" (If you’re well, that’s good—all’s well with me) all the time and abbreviated it to SVBEEQV.
I wonder if the Ancient Egyptians had something like as an abbreviation for 'It's dangerous where you are going - watch out for snakes, falling masonry, and ropes lying about...'
Read in 2017 - 12: Ye Olde Britain
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