"" Writer's Wanderings: SOS

Sunday, February 06, 2005


I think SOS must have started it--all these letters that are the shorthand for our cyber messages. SOS is thought to stand for "Save Our Ship". It was preceded by CQD which was the British distress signal. CQ were the letters for a general call on a land call and the D meant distress. It was a universal code for all telegraphers.

In 1908, SOS was adopted as a distress signal. the three dots, three dashes, three dots were thought to be less likely misinterpreted. Then came the Titanic. The new signal was not generally recognized yet. The telegrapher on the Titanic began by using the CQD code and then remembered the SOS and sent it.

Our messaging is constantly changing. Everything seems to be known by letters. WIP is a work in progress. CU means see you later. Some of them are easier to catch on to than others. I like the one our youth group has adopted--BCNYA. The letters match our church name followed by youth association. But it's also a neat way for the kids to say "Be seein' ya!"

All that aside, it is hard to keep up with everything. So, I'm sending out an SOS to anyone who knows what LOL is in a message. It really bothers me. But I'm finally admitting my lack of IQ in solving the IM.


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