Recently on Twitter one of my followers asked “What does N/A mean?” I responded “not applicable.” I was surprised because I assumed everyone knew what it meant. Just like when one uses “etc” surely they must know that’s short for etcetera. It got me to thinking that if the one person (who is being college-educated and doesn’t strike me as being “basic”) doesn’t know something like that, there have got to be others. As a result I’ve compiled a short list of things I know, that I previously assumed others knew, and that in all actuality people may have no idea.
We’ve all seen those three dots used but I’ve seen even more abused. There should only be three-never 4, 5, or 6 and it’s called an ellipsis. Ellipsis’ are used in place of omitted words/phrases and are also used to show melancholy thought or unfinished thoughts.
We are all asked to do this for events, but do we know what it really means? It’s actually an abbreviation for the French words, “répondez, s’il vous plaît” better known in English as “respond please.”
3) The phenomenon known as the “Itis”
The “itis” is shorthand for “Niggeritis” and is recognized as the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue that overtakes someone after they’ve enjoyed a hearty (and usually fattening) meal. It feeds into the stereotype that Blacks are unhealthy. Ultimately all of your body’s energy is directed to digesting the trash you just ate which is why you are left with little energy to do anything else other than sleep.
4) How do you know if your hair is actually growing fast?
We often hear people touting their impressive hair stats when in all actuality most of our hair isn’t much to brag about (in terms of length). On average, hair grows at 0.5 inches a month, or 6 inches in a year. 6 inches is quite a bit. I see too many bragging about extreme hair growth when in all actuality their hair grew around 6 inches just like nearly everyone elses.
5) Et al
This abbreviation is used at the ends of sentences and is Latin for “and others.” Many times I’ll see it used interchangeably with “etc” but it’s NOT the same.
Ex. Come on, you’ve got to know the colors of the rainbow. There’s red, orange, yellow, green, etc.
Ex. There are nine different organizations in the Divine 9 such as Delta Sigma Theta, Omega Psi Phi, et al.
This is an abbreviation for the Latin words “id est” that translates as “that is to say” or “in other words.”
Ex. You know I only wear OPI nail polish, i.e. the best that there is!
7) Best wishes, NEVER good luck
- When I was younger I always wished people “Good luck!” until I was a teenager and my mother reprimanded me for it. “Luck has nothing to do with faith in God. When you wish people ‘good luck’ you are taking the glory from God and putting it in false, superficial ideas. Instead say ‘best wishes.’ It expresses the same sentiment and also maintains faith in God.” I personally thought she was overreacting and caught up on her Jesus Freak high horse but now that I’ve been practicing this mentality for several years I understand what she’s saying. Every time I say “best wishes” it makes me reflect, if for no more than a split second, why I chose to say that instead of the more common “good luck.” Recently I allowed my mother to listen to Nicki Minaj’s, “Moment For Life,” and watched my mother smile when she heard Nicki rap, “No I’m not lucky I’m blessed, yes.” That is the exact lesson my mother taught me so many years ago.