NDT emojis, emoticons and abbreviations

I enjoy listening to the news on both the television and the radio. I flick between the various channels on the television to view items that I think are interesting. I tend to listen to the radio in the car and it does not provide as many options, restricting my ability to control what I listen to. Apart, that is, from the ultimate control of turning it off altogether. On both television and radio, it is often the programmes or articles that are unintentionally watched, or listened to, that are the most interesting. But the article I am going to relate to you is not one of these!

A survey by a parcel company was reported in various media at the beginning of November. The critically important output from this survey was that people over the age of 53 should not wear jeans. Now, I have to admit that after many years of not wearing jeans, I did buy a pair earlier this year. In my defence, they were a cost-effective way of building a fancy dress costume, allowing me to continue getting value from my investment after the big bash. Although I virtually lived in jeans in my student and post-student days, I do have an old-fashioned view of this garment: I cannot understand why you would pay to buy a pair with ready-made holes. I know that I am showing the same incredulity that my granddad showed when he saw my cousin going for a night out in what he considered ‘working trousers’.

The radio item, which provided me with this key fashion advice, also went on to list a number of other activities that should not be performed after people have reached specific ages. Evidently, emojis should not be used by people over the age of 36. Emojis are small digital images or icons used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. Now, why these should be limited to the under-37s is a mystery. I suppose that it is due to the fact that emojis are cartoon like and when you get beyond the age of 36 you are starting to get close to middle age, should be showing maturity and should be able to express your thoughts comprehensively using the written word. This opinion does miss the point. Especially when another news item reported that a grandmother has submitted a number of emojis, designed for use by the over fifties, for approval by the Unicode Consortium, which oversees the release of emojis. These emojis, or ‘emoldjis’ as they were referred to, include representations of back pain, bingo and spending the children’s inheritance.

The word ‘emoji’ derives from a combination of the Japanese for ‘picture’ and ‘character’. The similarity to the English word ‘emotion’ is coincidental. However, emojis were pre-dated by emoticons. An emoticon is a pictorial representation of a facial expression created by punctuation marks, numbers and letters and used to convey the feeling behind the words, for example :-). Both of these electronic communication vehicles are used alongside abbreviations and slang. In a recent glossary of social media slang, composed to assist parents in understanding their youthful offspring, there was one particular abbreviation that I would quite happily use on a regular basis: JOMO (Joy of  Missing Out), which is used to express that you are happy with what you’re currently doing and not bothered that you are not broadcasting on social media or checking on what everybody else is doing. See, I’m not an old Luddite after all, but a young-at-heart trendsetter!

While there are a lot of detractors of emojis, emoticons and slang, there is a sway of professional opinion that they can help improve communication in the electronic world and, therefore, are a good thing. Their use presents information in a new way and can provide a new and different perspective. The non-destructive testing profession has long been a big promoter of abbreviations: starting at the very top with NDT! You could say that the BINDT logo is a composition of emojis representing the various NDT methods. However, there is still much more that can be done to embrace this technological evolution and use it to the benefit of NDT.

As we enter into the holiday season you can put your creative skills to the test, as well as those of your families and friends, to compose an NDT emoji, emoticon or slang abbreviation. I’ll give you some easy ones to get you started:
  • ND – No defects
  • NDF – No defects found
  • JOFAD – Joy of finding a defect
  • FSD – Found some defects
  • \O/ IC    – Joy for an intelligent customer
  • /O\ UC – Despair for the opposite!

Send in your creations and suggestions to the Editor.
I would like to thank you for your support in reading this column and NDT News throughout the year. I wish you and your families a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Please note that the views expressed in this column are the author’s own personal ramblings for the purpose of encouraging discussion within the NDT Newspaper. They do not represent the views of Amec Foster Wheeler or the HSE who funded the PANI projects.

Letters can be mailed to The Editor, NDT News, Midsummer House, Riverside Way, Bedford Road, Northampton NN1 5NX. Fax: +44 (0)1604 438300; Email: ndtnews@bindt.org or email Bernard McGrath direct at bernard.mcgrath@amecfw.com

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