We interrupt your slackjawed midday Internet browsing session to bring you 95-year-old news of terrific import: It appears the earliest known usage of the acronym “OMG” was in a letter from a Royal Navy admiral to the UK’s minister of munitions, Winston Churchill. Behold this 1917 correspondence from John Arbuthnot Fisher unearthed by the splendid blog Letters of Note:
Let’s set aside the fact that “Arbuthnot” is the greatest middle name ever (besides “Mungo”). Let’s also set aside the fact that Admiral Fisher quotes Alexander Pope’s 1717 poem “Eloisa to Abelard” — which makes us lustful — but stops short of the ensuing line “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind,” which would reenter the culture as the title of a Jim Carrey film in an era where “OMG” became part of the texting lexicon (or “texticon,” if you will). Let us instead emphasize the fact that this letter is essentially a bit of a boo-yah. It’s a Brit be-bopping all over his German adversaries, a real size-does-matter volley of playful superiority between military men. Fun!
Churchill and Fisher had a history of erudite, buddy-buddy correspondence — the future prime minister invoked “Hamlet” in this 1915 pep talk to “Jacky” — so one can only imagine what prolific texters they’d be if they were alive today.
Jacky: BTW, u see Kate M = mebbe preggers?
Winny: GTFO! Not by me, obvi. ;)