Editor, Daily Nexus,
Walking through I.V. to DP, I ran into a recent transfer from SBCC living at FT on his way to HSSB for a GE class, AS 1A.
Entering Santa Barbara as a freshman this year, the memories of the tough competition to get into a University of California school are still quite vivid. Consequently, I had equated a four-year university with students tossing around intellectual four-syllable words, or at least sentences with four complete words. However, all I seemed to hear were plenty of four-letter abbreviations and four-letter obscenities.
Is it that the students are so eager to tell you about their new theory that they can’t be bothered with using the lengthy words Isla Vista or Del Playa? Or is it that the students here are so anxious to get to class that pronouncing the entire Art Studio would infringe on their valuable classroom time? More likely, students are too drunk to remember the entire Humanities and Social Sciences Building to be able to slur it out audibly. This is not to be a knock on UCSB or its students, because let’s be honest – we all know Santa Barbara is known for its party scene more than its prize-winning science department.
I can understand the need for some of these abbreviations, such as FT, when saying the entire Fran-cis-co Torr-es pretty much takes up your entire night. Or RBT, when the full Reg-is-tra-tion by Tel-e-phone would cause you to miss your pass time completely. However, some just create confusion if thrown around too willy-nilly. If you forget the “A” in BARC, then you have a bean, rice and cheese burrito – quite a different, yet easier-to-swallow thing. And if you show up expecting to compete in IM (Intramural sports), and find yourself in IC (Instructional Computing), you’re guaranteed to be with an entirely different crowd than expected. Freshmen need to be warned that while in high school AP (Advanced Placement) was a good thing to strive towards, in college one should be cautious to keep himself away from AP (Academic Probation).
I suppose adding these new abbreviations to my vocabulary is just another element freshmen have to adapt to. I’ll just have to throw it into the mix of changes, along with not being with your family, having to share a room with a stranger and being in classes of 300 or more. It just seems ironic that as I further my academic career, my vocabulary gets more condensed. Maybe by the time I get to graduate school everyone will bypass language entirely and grunt and point to each other.