Without much self analysis, I’m pretty sure I say ‘OMG’ at least once a day. I am double the age of most teenagers.
I’ve used it as a greeting:
Conversely, as a valediction:
Responding to birth:
And when dogs are anywhere near my thoughts:
OMG is short for ‘Oh my God’ (OMG duh). Because we actually say the letters, instead of saying ‘omjee,’ ‘OMG’ is an initialism (as opposed to ‘AIDS’, which is an acronym). But this is a distinction for the kinds of people who get enraged by the mispronunciation of ‘niche.’
Acronyms and initialisms shorten things – those things that are a pain in the ass to write or say. Most people attribute them to the late 20th century when the internet took over the world. But they were very common as far back as Roman times, when carving words into stone was just slightly more of a pain in the ass than the iPhone keyboard.
Acronyms are also things that must be in common enough use to be recognized as such. If we were to make an acronym/initialism into an equation, it would be
[pain in the ass] x [frequency] = acronym.
OMGs throughout history
The Oxford English Dictionary attributed the first OMG way back in 1917, to some Navy guy who bascially said “OMG I want to be knighted.” You can see the actual transcript on the OED site.
But OMG didn’t invade our vernacular until more recently. Because the phrase ‘Oh my god’ hasn’t changed, I have to conclude the frequency with which we say it has. And why is that?
If we look at the OMGs of today, we’re likely to see fuchsia and exclamation points.
OMG! from Yahoo
Here’s my easy conclusion that I’ve just made up. OMG is everywhere because everything is a big deal. Something isn’t news unless we’re panicking about it. Don’t even talk to me unless you’re shouting MAJOR GOSSIP.
I’ve come up with a list of OMG spin-offs for specific use. If we have ZOMG (an extra emphatic OMG, stemming from a typing mishap), then we should have further subcategorisations.
- FauxMG – a sarcastic exclamation; another way of saying “Really? I don’t care”.
- OMZ – getting really excited about going to sleep
- BroMG – OMG for dudes
- OMchi – excitement during meditation
- OM&G – enthusiasm about a merger and acquisition
- FoshoMG – An exclamatory confirmation
- OMP – You’re so excited, you just urinated a little
Feel free to use these; I want to get one in the OED by the year 2015.