Text Expanders - Addressing the Acronym Phenomenon

Medical TranscriptionNo Comments

We’ve all been in an intense conversation with someone when all of a sudden that uncomfortable pause occurs when they receive a text message, and they tell you to HOAS**. So, you sit there, patiently waiting for them to DTRT and get back to talking to you. We’ve all seen it: The Smiley Face that occurs—they glance at you and say BRB and you roll your eyes because you know it’s going to be a lot L8R. They LOL as they think about how the other person is going to react to their text. After about 5 minutes of their messaging tone “Yahoo!” you’ve had it and you GGOH. You leave the room and go about your business. After 20 minutes, they come to find you and ask if you still WAN2TLK. You roll your eyes once more when they tell you BRB again as the message tone goes off. WC?!

As texting became more popular, I initially rebelled against those who would use acronyms to respond back to me. I felt it was impersonal and rude! I specifically texted people epistles when they did that. However, the more and more I started texting, the more I realized that the acronyms were just a faster, more productive way to say what I needed to.

In the medical transcription world, acronyms can become your best friend. A good text expander can mean the difference between an average-producing medical transcriptionist and an exceptionally high-producing MT. It’s time to embrace the technology! Text expanders can create and store keyboard shortcuts that, when used, will expand to an entire word, phrase, sentence, paragraph or document. They can be used in many applications: word processors (such as Microsoft Word), email clients, and almost any other program that uses text. The best part about them, I think, is that you can customize the acronyms so they work FOR you. Text expander software programs not only help to increase the typing speed but also help become more productive & efficient.

There are a lot of text expander programs on the market for Windows, Linux and other operating systems. Almost all of them have trial versions that you can download for free. I would always recommend you take a piece of software for a test drive before you purchase the full license for it. Some will be more effective for you than others. Take your time to select the one that you feel most comfortable with. Some have different features that may appeal to one person but not another. Google the phrase text expander software, and you will come up with a lot of choices. A few of my favorites are Fast Fox, Shorthand for Windows, and Instant Text. I would also suggest you take a look at http://productivitytalk.com. It is a forum-like atmosphere where MTs and other typing professionals can collaborate to share information that will help with productivity.

Whether it’s a quick text to your spouse or significant other to tell them you are OMWH, or you are typing a massive OP report on TN, let’s face it, acronyms are faster! Embrace them, and you’ll soon JFJ.

**CHAT LINGO ACRONYM KEY
HOAS: hold on a second
DTRT: do the right thing
BRB: be right back
LOL: laughing out loud
GGOH: gotta get outta here
WC: who cares?
OMWH: on my way home
OP: operative
TN: trigeminal neuralgia
JFJ: jumping for job


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