Whip up this quick spice rub and add a favorite store-bought barbecue sauce to mop on these ribs. ⅓ cup Melvyn’s Seasoning Mix 5 pounds spareribs 1 (32-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
Prepare a hot fire by piling charcoal on 1 side of grill, leaving other side empty. (For gas grills, light only 1 side to high heat [400° to 500°]). Rub Melvyn’s Seasoning Mix on all sides of ribs. Arrange ribs on food rack over unlit side.
Grill, covered with grill lid, 3 to 3½ hours, turning once and basting with barbecue sauce during last 30 minutes. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.
Yield: 10 servings. Per serving: Calories 530 (55% from fat); Fat 32.3g (sat 11.7g, mono 14.2g, poly 2.9g); Protein 31.4g; Carb 25.1g; Fiber 1.2g; Chol 128mg; Iron 2.8mg; Sodium 1602mg; Calc 68mg
Melvyn’s Seasoning Mix
Ingredient & Directions
⅓ cup Creole seasoning ⅓ cup garlic powder ⅓ cup pepper 1½ tablespoons Greek seasoning Stir together all ingredients. Store mix in an airtight container. Yield: 1¼ cups.
Chicken-and-Smoked Sausage Pilau
1 (5-pound) whole roasting chicken 3 celery ribs, cut in half 2 carrots, cut in half 2 large sweet onions, chopped 8 cups water 1 bay leaf 1½ tablespoons seasoned salt 1½ tablespoons seasoned pepper 1 pound hot or mild smoked pork sausage links, cut into ¼-inch slices 4 cups uncooked long-grain rice
Bring first 8 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.
Remove and discard celery, carrots, and bay leaf, reserving broth in Dutch oven.
Remove chicken, and cool slightly; remove skin and bones, and coarsely chop chicken. Sauté sausage slices in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until browned; drain.
Add chicken and sausage to reserved broth in Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in rice, and return to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes or until broth is absorbed and rice is tender.
Yield: 8 servings. Per serving: Calories 921 (41% from fat); Fat 42.3g (sat 13.1g, mono 18.1g, poly 7.8g); Protein 51.2g; Carb 80.9g; Fiber 1.7g; Chol 169mg; Iron 6.2mg; Sodium 1567mg; Calc 72mg
Grilled Salmon With Sweet Soy Slaw and Dipping Sauce
The dipping sauce will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for several weeks. Warm sauce over medium-low heat before serving. Use as a marinade on steaks or shrimp, too.
2 cups soy sauce 2 tablespoons canola oil 8 pieces crystallized ginger 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 cups sugar 6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets 2 (12-ounce) packages broccoli slaw ¼ cup chopped green onions 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted Salt and pepper to taste
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir in sugar.
Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. (Mixture will thicken.)
Set aside 1½ cups soy mixture for slaw and to serve as a dipping sauce. Brush both sides of salmon generously with remaining soy mixture; cover and let stand 10 minutes.
Grill salmon, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 6 to 8 minutes on each side.
Toss together broccoli slaw, green onions, sesame seeds, and ½ cup reserved soy mixture; top with grilled salmon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with reserved 1 cup soy mixture for dipping.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: Calories 632 (32% from fat); Fat 22.5g (sat 4.9g, mono 10g, poly 4.9g); Protein 43.5g; Carb 62.5g; Fiber 4g; Chol 123mg; Iron 3.5mg; Sodium 2727mg; Calc 98mg
(All above recipes courtesy of Southern Living Cookbook)
21 Hot New Novels for Summer
Must-read fiction from Stephen King, Paula Hawkins and more top authors
by Caroline Leavitt and Christina Ianzito, AARP, July 2, 2021
packing your beach bag or just eager to escape into a great story? Check out some of this summer's best books.
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
Maynard celebrates all the stages of life of one extraordinary heroine, fiftyish Eleanor, who's looking back at her lonely girlhood with alcoholic parents, at falling in love, marrying and raising her three children — all while grappling with the heart-wreck of her divorce. Set against the backdrop of the cultural upheaval of the 1970s and ‘80s, the story makes you care deeply about Eleanor and her family, and poignantly shows how both joy and sorrow can be passed down through the generations. (May 25)
Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams
Beloved historical-fiction novelist Williams (author of The Summer Wives, among many others) brings us an engrossing story about American twin sisters whose paths diverge during World War II, then come together in dramatic fashion years later. In 1952, Ruth is head of a New York City modeling agency when she's sent an enigmatic postcard from her estranged sister, Iris Digby, who's married to a U.S. diplomat and living in Moscow. Ruth and a British counterintelligence agent set out together, pretending to be a married couple (rather convincingly, ahem) to possibly free Iris and her children from trouble behind the Iron Curtain. (June 1)
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
If anyone ever had any doubts about the quality of Oprah's book picks (we're looking at you, Jonathan Franzen!), this debut novel, which she's just selected, will dispel them. It's a moving, beautifully written story set in the American South just after the Civil War, when enslaved people have been emancipated but are still shackled in many ways by racism, not to mention their traumatic pasts. The book's focus is on a good-hearted older white man, George, who hires two freed brothers to help him farm his land. He and his family draw close to the pair, but the townspeople don't look kindly on the arrangement. Tensions build to a near-apocalyptic climax, and a kind of justice is finally served. (June 15)
LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota
Sahota, whose book The Year of the Runaways was short-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, weaves together the stories of two members of a family who are separated by decades but share questions about where they belong, and struggles with family obligations. One is Mehar, a young bride in 1929 Punjab who's forced into an arranged marriage and finds herself trapped in a new repressive life and bewildered by this stranger she's married. The other is her great-grandson (unnamed in the book), who, 70 years later, goes to Punjab from his home in Britain to recover from addiction. Sahota, who was raised in Britain by first-generation immigrants from India, has said the story was inspired by his own family's stories. (July 13)
Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson
Who knew the Duchess of York could write such a wonderful novel? Her debut effort is an absorbing tale full of colorful Victorian-era detail about the bold young Lady Margaret Montagu Scott, who appalls her traditional father, a Scottish duke, when she refuses to marry an odious man to advance the family's interests. She's cast out but sticks to her principles and goes on to forge a radically different life in New York City. She finds (and loses) love along the way, but the focus here is on her development into an independent woman in an era when that would have been a radical act. (Aug. 3)
Billy Summers by Stephen King
This weighty thriller and inevitable best seller from the King of Suspense is a long read at 528 pages but entertaining enough to make it worth the commitment. It's about sharpshooting hit man Billy Summers — though that's just one of his names — who justifies his profession by only killing “bad guys.” But after taking on a high-priced job, he wonders if the person or group orchestrating the hit might be the baddest of all. When he eventually becomes a target himself, he ends up saving the life of a young woman seeking a new life, and they hit the road together. Unlike many of King's classics, there's nothing supernatural here — besides a winking allusion to The Shining. (Aug. 3)
Breathe by Joyce Carol Oates
The prolific and prizewinning Oates’ latest is a heart-wrencher about love, loss and recovery. Gerard and Michaela McManus move from Cambridge to New Mexico only to have Gerard fall ill and then die, leaving Michaela haunted by memories — and perhaps by something else. It's an intense portrait of widowhood (Oates herself lost two husbands, one after 48 years of marriage). Readers might find the sudden switches from third person to second disconcerting, but Oates gets the descriptions of grief and the persistence of love exactly right. And anything by Oates is cause for celebration. (Aug. 3)
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Moreno-Garcia (author of last year's Mexican Gothic) returns with a 1970s noir-with-a-heart. Maite is a secretary addicted to romance reading and obsessed with Leonora, her radical neighbor, an art student who seems to live the kind of dangerous life that Maite can only imagine. But just as Leonora vanishes, a rock-'n'-roll-loving, violence-hating criminal named Elvis makes his entrance. Elvis’ orders from his crime bosses are to nab Leonora but instead he discovers Maite, and finds himself deeply drawn to her — and she to him. But can these two lonely souls find out the truth about Leonora? And can their relationship survive? Not if Russian spies, hit men and other nefarious forces can help it. (Aug. 17)
Another Kind of Eden by James Lee Burke
Ah, remember the ‘60s? The peace and love, the hope? Well, Edgar Award-winner Burke turns that stereotype (as well as the romantic image of the American West) on its head in this latest installment in his Holland Family saga. Set in the 1960s, the story has Burke's antihero, aspiring novelist and boxcar rider Aaron Broussard, on the run from his past. After he falls for a young painter, he's drawn into the investigation of a series of murders while encountering an evil that might not be totally human. (Aug. 17)
SIMON & SCHUSTER
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
Penny's 17th book centered on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is about the dangerous influence of mob mentality — and clearly inspired by current events. Back from his adventures in Paris, Gamache returns to his murder-prone village of Three Pines in Quebec, this time taking on security for a visiting lecturer at an area university. He soon discovers that she has a dangerous agenda, with abhorrent views that begin to infect the community like a virus. After a murder, it's up to Gamache to figure out whodunnit, and how it may be related to the lecturer's deceptions. (Aug. 24)
The Guide by Peter Heller
Heller, author of the novels The Dog Stars and The River, brings us a thriller set in Kingfisher Lodge, a seemingly idyllic Colorado fishing retreat for wealthy anglers, during a viral pandemic. Jack is a young outdoorsman (a character from The River), a new hire who's tasked with guiding a famous singer, Alison K, during her trout-fishing getaway. Jack soon starts to realize that something is very weird about this place. When he and Alison start to investigate what turns out to be a horrible truth, they find themselves in danger. It's a fast-paced read, with a surprising (if a bit implausible) finale. (Aug. 24)
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
The author of the mega-bestseller The Girl on the Train has whipped up another killer page-turner, this one about the murder of a young man on a London houseboat. His body is discovered by an eccentric neighbor, Miriam, who gets drawn into the mystery, along with a troubled young woman and the dead man's family. Before it's solved, they must contend with different dark events from long ago (Miriam, for one, was nearly murdered as a girl). Hawkins unspools the clues and drama with the witty skill sure to satisfy fans of her previous hit. (Aug. 31)
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
A feel-good, funny tale from the author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor, The Guncle follows gay Uncle Patrick, who has to adapt to a new way of life as he hosts niece Maisie and nephew Grant for the summer in the aftermath of a family tragedy.
Love and Fury by Samantha Silva
Silva imagines the life of Mary Wollstonecraft, the late 18th-century feminist thinker and mother of the novelist Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein). Wollstonecraft led a fascinating life, which Silva depicts with rich detail.
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Already a number 1 best seller, this latest from the beach-reads queen is about a novelist on Nantucket (of course) who's killed in a hit-and-run, and looks down upon her family from a place called the Beyond. She's given the power to influence them, and wrestles with how best to do so.
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
In Cronin's tender debut (already slated to be adapted for film), a feisty 17-year-old who's facing a tough terminal illness bonds with an 83-year-old patient in a hospital art therapy class. Together the two decide to create 100 paintings depicting a story from each year of their combined lives.
Ridgeline by Michael Punke
The author who brought us the 2002 novel The Revenant (turned into a 2015 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio) has a new historical saga, this one featuring fierce tensions between land-hungry settlers and Lakota people, including Crazy Horse, in 1860s Wyoming
Island Queen by Vanessa Riley
This historical novel is based on the real-life story of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas, a former enslaved person in the colonial West Indies who became a wealthy landowner and businesswoman. Doll, as she's known, attracts the wrath of powerful men as she defies all conventions. (July 21)
Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown
A thriller set in 1920s Texas, Brown's latest features a ranch hand, Thatcher, who becomes the prime suspect in the possible murder of a woman who's disappeared. A tough young widow joins forces with Thatcher against a tide of corruption and menace in town. (Aug. 3)
Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
Inti Flynn, a biologist working with her team to reintroduce wolves into the Scottish Highlands, faces the locals’ fury, while trying to help her twin sister, Aggie, heal from a traumatic past. It's a moving, moody story by the author of the 2020 novel Migrations. (Aug. 3)
In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani
Slimani's first novel since her hit The Perfect Nanny is set during World War II, and focuses on a young Frenchwoman, Mathilde, who moves to Morocco after falling for a Moroccan soldier. The independent Mathilde finds herself constricted in a land with rigid social codes, as conflict erupts. (Aug. 10)
Your Ultimate Guide to This Summer’s Best Movies
Don’t miss any of the action with our critics’ picks of what’s coming and where to catch them
by Tim Appelo, AARP, Updated July 2, 2021
Yes, movies are back this summer, and that means screens big and small are lighting up with an exciting mix of comedies, dramas, documentaries and, yes, a Marvel sequel. Make your movie nights worth it with our critics’ picks of the best of what’s coming up and what’s already opened. (Keep an eye on this page for updates, as COVID-19 may rejigger studios’ best-laid plans to make your summer cinematic.)
COMING IN JULY
Black Widow (Disney+, July 9)
Scarlett Johansson's KGB assassin Black Widow is on the run from a digitally de-aged William Hurt as Gen. Thunderbolt Ross and back in Russia in the eagerly awaited Marvel tentpole adventure.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (Focus, July 16)
Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, Won't You Be My Neighbor) presents the triumphant, tragic life of cook-turned-author-turned-globetrotting-culinary-TV-star Anthony Bourdain.
Ailey (Neon, July 23)
The inspiring and troubling story of Alvin Ailey, a lonely, fatherless Texas kid with bipolar disorder who went from picking cotton to transforming American dance, and using it to capture the Black experience when that was tough to get away with. Cicely Tyson called him the “pied piper of modern dance."
Old (Universal, July 23)
When M. Knight Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) turned 50, he made this eerie movie about a luxurious tropical beach paradise that makes visitors age their entire lifetime in a single day.
Stillwater (Focus, July 30)
Director/writer Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) presents Matt Damon as an Oklahoma roughneck oilman trying to spring his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine) from prison for a murder she says she didn't commit.
Ride the Eagle (Decal, July 30)
A comedy about Leif (Jake Johnson), who’s about to inherit a beautiful Yosemite cabin from his late, estranged mom (Susan Sarandon) — but only after he completes her rather demanding, if not unreasonable, to-do list from beyond the grave.
COMING IN AUGUST
Respect (United Artists, Aug. 13)
In one of the season's hotly awaited films, Jennifer Hudson plays Aretha Franklin, with Forest Whitaker as her famous preacher daddy and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington. Also look for Marlon Wayans and Audra McDonald.
CODA (Apple TV+, Aug. 13)
The Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner about Ruby (Emilia Jones), a child of deaf adults — that is, a “CODA” — who’s torn between attending a prestigious music school and staying to work on her family’s fishing boat and serving as everyone’s interprete
The Protégé (Lionsgate, Aug. 20)
No. 1 international assassin (No. 1 box-office star Samuel L. Jackson) gets killed, so his protégée (Maggie Q) vows revenge, and gets mixed up with a mysterious killer (Michael Keaton) in Vietnam
Reminiscence (Warner Bros., Aug. 20)
In a thriller by the creator of Westworld, Hugh Jackman and Thandie Newton offer Miami clients a chance to escape reality by reliving their past. What could go wrong?
Finch (Apple TV+, Aug. 20)
Tom Hanks, whose last summer blockbuster, Greyhound, broke Apple TV+'s viewership record, plays the last man on earth, an engineer who builds a robot (Caleb Landry Jones) to care for his beloved pooch, and sets out with them on a scary journey through the American West.
The Beatles: Get Back (Disney, Aug. 27)
Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) dug into 60 hours of previously unreleased 1969 studio footage and 150 hours of restored audio recordings to make the definitive doc on the Beatles’ last days — which were more fun than you knew. Be a fly on the wall during their last concert, and hear songs from Abbey Road and Let It Be. “We hope it will bring a smile to everyone's faces and some much-needed joy at this difficult time,” says Jackson.
Candyman (Universal, Aug. 27)
Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) presents a sequel to the 1992 horror classic about a haunting in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project.
Text Abbreviations You Should Know (and How to Use Them)
Bryce Gruber Updated: Jul. 02, 2021
Knowing the meaning of these terms will keep anyone with a phone, social media, or even just web access from being constantly confused in the digital world!
OMG! IMO, texting abbreviations are the GOAT! If you have absolutely no idea what that means, it might be time to brush up on your texting abbreviations. These collections of letters, short for a single word or group of words, are so common in texting that many have migrated into spoken conversations. And they’ve moved beyond text conversations, becoming widespread in social media captions and comments too. If you’re pairing these texting abbreviations with a GIF, find out what GIF stands for.
Why do we use abbreviations when we text?
It seems impossible to imagine texting without abbreviations today, but how did abbreviations become such a massive part of texting lingo? Well, in the days before smartphones, and even before keyboard phones, texters were working with a limited number of characters—160, to be exact—and before “unlimited” plans became the law of the land, each text cost money to send. Plus, typing just with thumbs isn’t quite the speedy process that typing on a traditional keyboard is. Not to mention, before keyboard phones, you had to press the number corresponding with the letter you wanted—enough times for that letter to appear. Needless to say, typing full words was cumbersome, and it became customary to shorten words and phrases. And, of course, abbreviating is just convenient in general, and is certainly not exclusive to texting—just look at all these common abbreviation and acronym examples.
Classic texting abbreviations
This is perhaps the most ubiquitous texting acronym. Short for “laughing out loud,” “LOL” is now used to express even the mildest amusement. You can respond “LOL!!” perhaps paired with one of these popular emojis when your friend tells you a hilarious story, but you can also just say something like, “I forgot to have breakfast today, LOL.” It’s something of a catch-all reaction. Another note: “LOL” does not stand for “lots of love.” In the early days when texting abbreviations became mainstream, plenty of people made this LOL-worthy mistake.
The abbreviation “OMG,” for “oh my God” (or gosh, or goodness, or your expression of choice) vastly predates texting. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary tracked its earliest recorded use to a letter written in 1917! Today, you’ll see it used in sentences like, “OMG, can you believe how hot it is today?!” It’s a pretty catch-all exclamation or reaction.
“IDK” is perhaps the theme of this article, because it literally means “I don’t know,” which is exactly how you felt about all these text abbreviations before you learned what they stood for. Next time you get a text from your kid asking where their favorite shirt is, reply with “IDK, ask your mother/father/sibling.”
“JK” means “just kidding.” Use it to indicate that you’re, well, kidding—but use it with care. Posting a scathing backhanded compliment and then quickly adding a “JK!!!” really doesn’t do much to soften the blow. Make sure that the audience of your “JK” is on board with your sense of humor. This common abbreviation is often paired with another: “JK, LOL” is a dismissive, sometimes self-deprecating combo of texting abbreviations that you’ll often see. “I aced my math test today!!! JK LOL it was rough.”
You’re most likely not literally “rolling on the floor laughing” when you use this abbreviation, but it’s still a bit stronger an indicator of mirth than “LOL.” Usually, it’s a standalone response to something funny. Add exclamation points and laugh/crying face emojis as you please.
Short for “you only live once,” “YOLO” is a rallying cry for living life to the fullest and all that that entails, especially in the social media sphere. Ordering a pizza when you “should” be ordering a salad? YOLO! Going bungee jumping for the first time? YOLO! It can encourage other people’s doing of such things or commemorate your own doing of them. The popularity of “YOLO” peaked around the early 2010s, and today, you’re more likely to see this texting acronym used with a hint of sarcasm (or more than a hint, for that matter) than with full-flung earnestness.
“Hit me up” is an expression that might even need further explanation once you know what the letters stand for. Rather than referring to physical violence, “hit me up” simply means “contact me” or “call me.” It dates back to the days of pagers in the 1990s, when people would send phone numbers to each other via one-way message. The pager would light up and/or make noise to indicate that you’d been “hit up.” The phrase was all over the ’90s hip-hop sphere, and it stuck around when texting abbreviations began to dominate: “HMU” became the prevailing way to say it in the late 2000s. While pagers are extinct, the abbreviation certainly is not, and has evolved into the shortened “HMU.” What about another abbreviation you probably use all the time without realizing: Does the “I” in “iPhone” stand for something?
Basic texting abbreviations
In texting terms, the second and third letters of the alphabet don’t refer to the time “before Christ.” “BC” is short for “because.” Often, texting abbreviations like these won’t even be capitalized. You might see something like “Wanted to see how you were doing bc I haven’t heard from you in a while.”
“THX” might remind ’80s and ’90s kids of that bizarrely intense, loud movie intro, which showed the logo for the THX Ltd. audiovisual company. But in a text, it’s simply short for “thanks,” with the X representing the sound at the end of the word. Even more common than “THX” is “TY” or “ty,” which means “thank you.” And finally, you’ll see “TYSM” or “tysm” (“thank you so much”) quite frequently as well.
The logical response to “ty,” “YW” or “yw” means “you’re welcome.” In a similar vein, “NP” or “np” means “no problem.” “NP,” though, can respond to an apology just as well as thanks: “I’m going to be a few minutes late tonight!” “NP.”
You’ve definitely seen this one all over the Internet and via text, but what does it even mean? Well, wonder no more: It’s short for “no big deal.” It’s one of the most commonly used text abbreviations and fits just about everywhere. You can use it earnestly, as in “Don’t worry about being a few minutes late, it’s NBD!”…or not so earnestly. Next time someone says they can’t make it to your party, you can text back “NBD”—even if you’re silently fuming.?
This is one that people say out loud in real life in addition to just texting it. “BTW” is short for “by the way.” You’d use it just like you’d use the expression in real life—to introduce a new topic of conversation. “BTW, I saw you went to the beach yesterday—it looked amazing!!” When people say it out loud, they might say “B-T-dubbs.” After all, if you’re going to abbreviate, abbreviate, right?! “W” is a three-syllable letter—as long as the entire original phrase!
This one translates to “let me know,” and is useful in all sorts of situations for nudging or putting the ball in someone’s court. Trying to plan a group event when one person doesn’t know if they’ll be able to make it? Just tell them “LMK when you know”—and hopefully they will in good time.
“ILY” or “ily” is short for “I love you.” This is, needless to say, a pretty casual way to say those words, so maybe avoid saying them for the first time (or even second, or third) to your significant other in this way. And, depending on her general fondness for and knowledge of texting abbreviations, perhaps avoid texting your grandma “ILY.” You can certainly sign off with a longtime significant other, good friend, or family member you text with all the time with “ILY,” though. As a real casual variation, you might even just see “LY” (or “ly”).
If you’re still blow-drying your hair but were supposed to be at dinner ten minutes ago, try texting your significant other something like “OMW, see you soon.” OMW means “on my way” and is often used when you’re not even really on your way…but will be soon.
Two words, three letters: “NVM” is short for “never mind.” You’d use it much in the same way you use the phrase in real life: “What was that restaurant we went to last week???” *five minutes later* “NVM, I found it!”
This is a great one because it’s often a relationship builder. It means “in real life” (as opposed to online or over the phone), and is great for saying things like “Would love to see you soon IRL!” We’re probably sending a lot of texts like this lately as things start to open up post-lockdown!
Who has time to text out “estimated time of arrival”?! In fact, you’ll certainly hear this abbreviation spoken out loud quite a bit, too. You’re just as likely to hear “Looking forward to seeing you tonight, what’s your ETA?” out loud as you are to see it in a text.
This is another one that’s quite popular beyond just the realm of texting. When’s the last time you heard someone say all three words, “too much information”? If your friend of a friend shares every last detail of their bout of food poisoning on the socials, the simple three-letter response “TMI!” says it all. Another way you’ll see this, including in person, is when someone prefaces a story with “This might be TMI, but…” to give listeners a heads-up and perhaps make them expect something worse than what they’re actually going to say.
Social media abbreviations
This texting acronym doesn’t have anything to do with four-legged horned mammals. “GOAT,” almost always preceded by “the,” means “greatest of all time.” An acronym that’s been all over social media, “GOAT” can be used to praise a friend (“Did you see Michelle’s fitness routine? She’s the GOAT!”) or a superstar in a particular field (“Saw the GOAT himself, John Williams, conduct an orchestra last night!”). BTW, while most of these are texting abbreviations or initialisms, “GOAT” is a texting acronym—what’s the difference between abbreviation vs. acronym vs. initialism?
If you see someone posting a funny image of a cat lounging with sunglasses captioned something like “TFW you’re off of work for a long weekend,” know that it’s one of the funny text abbreviations that people are using these days. It translates to “that feel/feeling when,” and it’s most commonly used in association with visual images that represent how someone is feeling, like these work-from-home memes. Try using it with a smiling selfie like “TFW dinner came out even better than I imagined.”
Have you heard someone say they were “sliding into someone’s DMs” and thought, “Sliding into their what now?” “DM” is short for “direct message.” More directly related to social media than to texting, DMs refer to the private messaging option on apps like Twitter and Instagram. Since it suggests taking the conversation out of the more public, visible sphere, it often has flirtatious implications. It can also be a verb: “DM me to learn more about texting abbreviations.”
FOMO means “fear of missing out.” “FOMO” is what you feel when you see your BFFs (that’s “best friends forever,” or so you thought, apparently) out partying, and you weren’t invited (or simply couldn’t make it). While “#FOMO” can be a facetious comment on a post like that, it’s also recognized as a genuine mental health issue in our social media-driven age.
This one might’ve confused you on Facebook or Instagram, but it’s a pretty useful text abbreviation to have handy as it just means “in case you missed it.” It’s great for uploading photos after the fact, like a photo from a relative’s wedding that you forgot to post the day of or a family photo from years ago. Try uploading a recent photo of a life event with the hashtag “#ICYMI.” It’ll also often be in the caption or subject of “old” news stories or emails (read: from a day ago).
FTW means “for the win,” and is a slangy, upbeat way of celebrating something via social media commentary. It doesn’t need to literally refer to winning—it can just celebrate a triumphant moment. Imagine yourself taking your first SCUBA lesson and posting a photo of a successful dive with the caption, “Diving lessons FTW!” You can also use it for subtler occasions—if your friend shuts down a trollish commenter, declare, “[your friend’s name] FTW!”
“TLDR” means “too long, didn’t read,” and is a common response to long-winded, rambling opinion pieces. Next time your co-worker uploads a six-paragraph status about the condition of her daily reports, try commenting “TLDR, but I hope you get it all done!” Writers also often try to get ahead of “TLDR,” too. In more formal, journalistic writing, or in a lengthy, original social media post, you may see “TLDR,” often formatted as “TL;DR,” followed by a quick summary so that the inevitable speedy scrollers can still get the gist..
Opinionated texting abbreviations
Consider FWIW one of the most snarky-but-still-polite text abbreviations out there, because it’s a great opener, translating to “for what it’s worth.” It’s a kinder way of preambling a strong opinion and can be used in situations like, “FWIW, I never liked your boyfriend anyway.” Here’s more about how to use FWIW.
This is the twin sister of FWIW, yet another way to politely (or not so politely!) preface a strong or possibly offensive opinion. It means “to be honest.” Try using it when your aunt texts the family group chat asking who wants to eat tuna casserole at her house tonight. “TBH, tuna casserole is not my fave.” Still, we can’t guarantee that text abbreviations will soften the blow. Know the times texting is better than calling.
“SMH” means “shaking my head,” which is what we’re all doing at least half the time we scroll through our Facebook newsfeeds and see crazy political rants from long-lost relatives. FWIW (eh?), it’s…not often used kindly and carries an air of condescension. If you’re going to use SMH, keep your audience in mind. Next time you see your cousin upload a muffin-baking video that ruins Grandma’s recipe, you can definitely comment “You’re not supposed to put that much baking powder in the bowl—SMH” if your cuz is the type to take it in stride.
IIRC stands for “if I recall correctly” and is the social media equivalent of you bringing receipts. It’s a little argumentative, but useful when you need to say things like, “IIRC, you promised me so much more. Here’s a screenshot to prove it.”
Another one that can cause the recipient to brace themselves, “IMO” means “in my opinion.” The strength/controversy of that opinion can vary vastly, though. You can certainly use this one innocuously in pop culture debates: “IMO, Thanos’s plan was better in Infinity War than in Endgame.” “IMHO” is a variation meaning “in my humble opinion.” With the addition of almost-always-sarcastic humility, “IMHO” is usually a little edgier, as it were. Now that you know these text abbreviations, make sure to brush up on proper texting etiquette too.
Things We've Learned from Movies
Movies are good for entertainment, but often not so good at reflecting real life. Here are some things that routinely happen in movies which make you wonder if the people behind them live in the same planet as the rest of us...
- During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
- The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
- Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
- All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.
- If you find yourself caught up in a misunderstanding that could be cleared up quickly with a simple explanation, for goodness sake, keep your mouth shut.
- It's always possible to park directly outside the building you're visiting.
- Freelance helicopter pilots are always eager to accept bookings from international terrorist organizations - even though the job will require them to shoot total strangers and will end in their own certain death as the helicopter explodes in a ball of flames.
- When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
- Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it.
- You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
- Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.
- The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they will fall in love.
- Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.
- It's not necessary to say hello or good-bye when beginning or ending phone conversations.
- It doesn't matter if you're heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts
– Your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors."
Causes of cancer can be roughly placed into two groups: things we can’t control, and things we can.
There’s not much you can do about inherited genes, but research suggests that nearly 40% of cancer cases could be avoided by changing our nutrition habits and lifestyles. Learn how your everyday decisions can shape your health, and start making decisions that stack the odds in your favor.
Be physically active as a part of your everyday life — walk more and sit less.
Being physically active and exercising can lower your cancer risk, help you have a healthy weight and lessen your risk for numerous chronic diseases. Just 30 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week can go a long way towards improving your health.
To get the most out of your physical activity, combine it with a healthy diet. When you marry a plant-based eating style with intentional physical activity, you’ll more likely balance the calories you take in with what you burn, and you’ll more naturally have and maintain a healthy weight.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest step. There may be mental hurdles to overcome, and feelings of frustration to get through. But it’s never too late to start being active. And any type of physical activity is better than none.
Make it easy on yourself by starting simply, starting where you are, and taking one day at a time.
Meaning: If you used to run but you haven’t laced up in years, then don’t shoot for ten miles on day one. And, if you’ve never been into fitness, then don’t start with a high-intensity, cross training class.
Instead, set some realistic goals, make a plan, and try to get a little better each day.
Make A Plan
If you’ve never been physically active, consider starting your journey towards regular activity with a series of moderate, 15-minute exercise sessions. Do five sessions during week one. Then gradually add five, ten, or fifteen minutes over the next several weeks until each session gets past the 30-minute mark.
If you want to start really simply, then go for brisk walks. By walking 30 minutes a-day, five days a week you easily meet AICR’s recommendation to be physically active 150 minutes a-week and reduce your cancer risk.
If you haven’t been active in a while, begin with easy to moderate activities and build-up your time and intensity levels gradually. Warm up first by marching in place or walking for five minutes. Once you’re done with your exercise, take care of your muscles by stretching for a few minutes.
Over time, increase your exercise level to improve your fitness. Push yourself without causing pain or too much exhaustion. Mix up your activity routine to keep it interesting. During the week, spend time doing different kinds of exercise:
- aerobic (try zumba or jogging)
- strengthening (try lifting weights, doing body weight work, or using resistance bands)
- balance (try tai chi and yoga)
- flexibility (try stretching)
Being consistently active is all about your mindset. Instead of thinking of exercise as a task, consider physical activity as play. Have a good time moving and enjoy the world around you, knowing that you are creating a healthier life for yourself.
The best way to get active and stay active is to make sure you’re having fun. If you’re not into jogging solo, consider finding a group activity class that interests you. Maybe some yoga? Or dance? Or swimming? Or just hitting the gym?
One way to really make physical activity part of your lifestyle is to add some accountability. Maybe start getting fit with a friend or someone who can support you and help keep you on track.
Awareness of your progress is important. You can chart your activity in a workout journal or make a game out of counting your steps with a wearable fitness tracker.
However You Choose to be Active, You’ve Got to Move More, and Sit Less
Move More. You’ve got to move if you want to stay healthy. Physically active people tend to live healthier and longer. Plus, they enjoy more independence as they age.
And Sit Less. People who spend a lot of time sitting – to binge watch TV, for example – are more prone to unhealthy weight gain, cancer and other chronic diseases including type two diabetes and heart disease. If you spend your day at a sedentary job and then sit at your computer or television for a few hours every night, that sedentary lifestyle can increase your cancer risk.
(Courtesy of A.I.C.R)