Internet abbreviations in the Oxford dictionary officially? Yes, internet slang terms LOL, BFF, FYI, and OMG are now words. Muffin Top, as we reported yesterday, was also added to the new words list. That may have made some of you laugh out loud, or in proper English LOL. If LOL is a word, we can use Wikipedia as a source right? According to Wikipedia, LOL was first used on Usenet, which was an internet discussion platform in the early 1980’s.
As much as we here at FYI, love that FYI (For Your Information) is officially a word; it’s also our duty to give you and official FYI. Don’t trade in your pencils and paper for a keyboard just yet. There are many people that think the popularization of acronyms may be the first sign of the decline of the written word. To be sure, who writes long letters anymore? Cognitively however, there is a case for physically getting out a pen and paper and writing down your thoughts.
A new study that compared the different brain processes used for writing by hand and typing has found that there are cognitive benefits to putting pen to paper. These findings give support to the continued teaching of penmanship and handwriting in schools. Compared to using two hands to type out letters on a keyboard, writing with one hand uses more complex brain power.
Writing is more complicated because it integrates the following three brain processes:
Visual: Seeing what is on the paper in front of you.
Motor: Using your fine motor skills to put the pen to paper and form the letters to make the words.
Cognitive: Remembering the shapes of the letters requires a different type of feedback from the brain.
As an experiment, sit down and write a letter. See how different it feels to actually hold the pen and plan out your thoughts. Handwriting may be slower, and there is no spell check, but this is precisely why picking up a pen and writing your thoughts down on paper may actually help you exercise your brain.