Author Topic: The initialism "OMG"?  (Read 304 times)

Offline Daniel

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The initialism "OMG"?
« on: September 15, 2020, 08:50:04 PM »
Is the initialism "OMG" inherently blasphemous in the same way that "oh my God" is inherently blasphemous?

Instinctively I find it repulsive. But I'm wondering about the "G". Because, I could be wrong, but I believe that phrases such as "oh my goodness" and "oh my gosh" are ok. And both of those phrases might also be shortened to "OMG". (Strictly speaking, I think it only constitutes blasphemy when the "G" signifies God. But the letter "G", taken only in itself, does not signify God.)

So, what are we to make of this, whenever we see people on the Internet shouting "OMG"? Do we make public reparation for the blasphemy as soon as we see it, and publicly rebuke the person who has said it, in order to minimize the scandal he's causing as well as get him to think twice before using that sort of language? Or should we always just let it slide, since we are never entirely sure that his language even was blasphemous to begin with? (Although we'd be insane to believe that most people using "OMG" are not blaspheming. Obviously the majority of them couldn't care less about God or His name.)

What's disturbing is that I even see many Catholics throwing "OMG" around like it's no big deal. This is clearly a problem. Even if they only intend "oh my goodness", they're nevertheless contributing to the filth.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 09:00:07 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 08:59:03 PM »
I don't think it is actually blasphemous. I have heard priests many times say it isn't a sin. If it was blasphemous it would certainly be a serious sin. I think it is the actual name of God, i.e. Jesus or Christ which is blasphemous.
 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 11:28:28 PM »
I know the CCC isn't always respected by traditionalists but sometimes it seems to get Catholic teaching right (maybe not on the death penalty):

Quote from: CCC
ARTICLE 2
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

    You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.72

    You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely. . But I say to you, Do not swear at all.73

* I. THE NAME OF THE LORD IS HOLY

2142 The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters.

2143 Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. "The Lord's name is holy." For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.74

2144 Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it evokes. The sense of the sacred is part of the virtue of religion:

    Are these feelings of fear and awe Christian feelings or not? . . . I say this, then, which I think no one can reasonably dispute. They are the class of feelings we should have - yes, have to an intense degree - if we literally had the sight of Almighty God; therefore they are the class of feelings which we shall have, if we realize His presence. In proportion as we believe that He is present, we shall have them; and not to have them, is not to realize, not to believe that He is present.75

2145 The faithful should bear witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear.76 Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2146 The second commandment forbids the abuse of God's name, i.e., every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

2147 Promises made to others in God's name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God's name and in some way to make God out to be a liar.77

2148 Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God - inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's name. St. James condemns those "who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called."78 The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.

Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.
79

(It goes on to speak of oaths and perjury....)

The 2nd commandment was not given to us only when the Second Person of the Trinity was born and given the name Jesus Christ.  "Blessed be the Holy Name of God" was always true.

I've known a priest who says it is a sin to say "gosh", or "golly"  or "gee whiz"; but I don't think most people who say or hear these words are thinking of "God" in the least.

But my perception is that some/many people who say "OMG" usually wouldn't have a problem with "Oh my God!" either.

It's not just a question of whether something is a sin in your heart, but could it lead to one for someone (make them think that "Oh my God" wouldn't be so bad, since that is the dictionary meaning of "OMG").

If you really DO have God in mind (or mean to), e.g. if you witness a terrible accident, that might be a reason to use God's name in earnest, even "Oh my God".  But I don't think that's what most people do.

A mortal sin must be intentional and I think some good Catholics say "God" almost thinking it is "Gosh" just because it is drummed into our ears from everywhere.    I'm not sure about this from the CCC, but I think blasphemy would require explicit evil intention against God; but an unintentional mistake of  language would still be taking God's name in vain as a venial sin.
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 01:03:31 AM »
I know the CCC isn't always respected by traditionalists but sometimes it seems to get Catholic teaching right (maybe not on the death penalty):

Quote from: CCC
ARTICLE 2
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

    You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.72

    You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely. . But I say to you, Do not swear at all.73

* I. THE NAME OF THE LORD IS HOLY

2142 The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters.

2143 Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. "The Lord's name is holy." For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.74

2144 Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it evokes. The sense of the sacred is part of the virtue of religion:

    Are these feelings of fear and awe Christian feelings or not? . . . I say this, then, which I think no one can reasonably dispute. They are the class of feelings we should have - yes, have to an intense degree - if we literally had the sight of Almighty God; therefore they are the class of feelings which we shall have, if we realize His presence. In proportion as we believe that He is present, we shall have them; and not to have them, is not to realize, not to believe that He is present.75

2145 The faithful should bear witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear.76 Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2146 The second commandment forbids the abuse of God's name, i.e., every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

2147 Promises made to others in God's name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God's name and in some way to make God out to be a liar.77

2148 Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God - inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's name. St. James condemns those "who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called."78 The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.

Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.
79

(It goes on to speak of oaths and perjury....)

The 2nd commandment was not given to us only when the Second Person of the Trinity was born and given the name Jesus Christ.  "Blessed be the Holy Name of God" was always true.

I've known a priest who says it is a sin to say "gosh", or "golly"  or "gee whiz"; but I don't think most people who say or hear these words are thinking of "God" in the least.

But my perception is that some/many people who say "OMG" usually wouldn't have a problem with "Oh my God!" either.

It's not just a question of whether something is a sin in your heart, but could it lead to one for someone (make them think that "Oh my God" wouldn't be so bad, since that is the dictionary meaning of "OMG").

If you really DO have God in mind (or mean to), e.g. if you witness a terrible accident, that might be a reason to use God's name in earnest, even "Oh my God".  But I don't think that's what most people do.

A mortal sin must be intentional and I think some good Catholics say "God" almost thinking it is "Gosh" just because it is drummed into our ears from everywhere.    I'm not sure about this from the CCC, but I think blasphemy would require explicit evil intention against God; but an unintentional mistake of  language would still be taking God's name in vain as a venial sin.


Well that is certainly true. I think in this passage you have presented, the use of grammar and the St. James quote support my statement. I agree with you though that is is not morally neutral, a very bad habit to be sure; even if it is not seriously sinful.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 01:06:16 AM by coffeeandcigarette »
 

Offline paul14

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 04:18:23 AM »
Is the initialism "OMG" inherently blasphemous in the same way that "oh my God" is inherently blasphemous?

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« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 08:04:41 AM by paul14 »
 
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Offline The Theosist

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 06:44:59 AM »
"God" isn't our deity's name, and if it is in any sense a name, it's that of a Germanic pagan deity. The Mosaic commandment says explicitly "the name of Yahweh, your elohim", a fact that is lost in our translations that have dropped the divine name and read "the Lord's name", and its prohibition has absolutely nothing to do with an exclamation like "Oh my God!" but is bound up with ancient Hebrews mystical views of name and language. When it says not to misuse the name of "Yawheh" it means "Yawheh". If we want to talk tradition and sola scriptura, that is how the Hebrews always understood the commandment and why, to our utter shame, the sacred name doesn't appear in our Bible in the first place.
 

Offline The Theosist

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 06:49:21 AM »
Quote
Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin

The divinity has a holy name, but it's not one used by the vast majority of Christians.
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 10:03:11 AM »
Quote from: CCC
2146 The second commandment forbids the abuse of God's name, i.e., every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

Unfortunately, this passage doesn't explicitly state that the word "God" is, in fact, a name of God. I always just assumed it was, because why wouldn't it be? I'll look around for other sources to confirm this, but I'm almost certain it is. Misuse of the name "Jesus" would probably be an even greater sin though, since that's His proper name.

"OMG", on the other hand, is a relatively new expression and is probably not to be found in any official sources, let alone pre-Vatican II sources...


"God" isn't our deity's name, and if it is in any sense a name, it's that of a Germanic pagan deity. The Mosaic commandment says explicitly "the name of Yahweh, your elohim", a fact that is lost in our translations that have dropped the divine name and read "the Lord's name", and its prohibition has absolutely nothing to do with an exclamation like "Oh my God!" but is bound up with ancient Hebrews mystical views of name and language. When it says not to misuse the name of "Yawheh" it means "Yawheh". If we want to talk tradition and sola scriptura, that is how the Hebrews always understood the commandment and why, to our utter shame, the sacred name doesn't appear in our Bible in the first place.

I think that's only part of it.

What I've been taught--and I think this goes all the way back to the early Church--is that whenever you misuse a holy name, you profane the thing that the name signifies. While sorcery is one way in which a name can be misused, it isn't the only way. Vulgar exclamations are another way that the name can be misused.

Also, I don't believe the commandment is limited only to God's proper name. While "God" may not be God's proper name, "God" is nevertheless God's name, i.e. it's a name (or noun) which signifies God. Not only does it signify Him when we use it to communicate with one another, but we oftentimes even address Him as such when praying. It's definitely a holy name, even if not a proper name. (It's not "pagan" either. Etymologically it's a Germanic calque of Deus, which in turn is a Latin calque of Theos, which in turn is a Greek calque of Hebrew Elohim. As far as I know there was never a Germanic deity named "God"... and even if there was, it's beside the point. Because that name now signifies God.)

And I'm not a historian so I can't say for sure if the following is correct, but I've heard that some of the Hebraisms in St. Matthew's gospel are evidence that the Jewish Christians didn't reverence only God's proper name "Yahweh" (and "Jesus"), but also reverenced the name "God". e.g. Compare Matthew 19:24 against Mark 10:25/Luke 18:25... the word "heaven" has been substituted in place of "God", presumably because the Jewish Christians were accustomed to speaking that way, presumably out of habitual reverence for the name of God and out of a habitual desire to safeguard the name in their everyday speech. But the name they were safeguarding wouldn't have been "Yahweh", as "Yahweh" wasn't even part of their everyday speech. I think "kingdom of God" would have been "kingdom of Elohim" (or the Aramaic equivalent).
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 10:12:42 AM by Daniel »
 
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Offline The Theosist

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 11:44:37 AM »
Also, I don't believe the commandment is limited only to God's proper name.

Except that's precisely what, and the only thing that, the commandment references: the name Yahweh. This is another case of what can frankly only be called colonisation of a text.

Quote
While "God" may not be God's proper name, "God" is nevertheless God's name, i.e. it's a name (or noun) which signifies God.

This tells me nothing, "God signifies God".

Quote
Not only does it signify Him when we use it to communicate with one another, but we oftentimes even address Him as such when praying. It's definitely a holy name, even if not a proper name. (It's not "pagan" either. Etymologically it's a Germanic calque of Deus, which in turn is a Latin calque of Theos, which in turn is a Greek calque of Hebrew Elohim. As far as I know there was never a Germanic deity named "God"... and even if there was, it's beside the point. Because that name now signifies God.)

A word that Deists, Unitarians, Muslims, Hindus, various pagans and even devil-worshippers use to signify their "supreme being" is a "holy name"? Are you sure?

Before you respond, please note that when I exclaim "Oh my God!" or "God damn it!" I no more intend as my referent the god of Abraham than a pagan does.

Quote
And I'm not a historian so I can't say for sure if the following is correct, but I've heard that some of the Hebraisms in St. Matthew's gospel are evidence that the Jewish Christians didn't reverence only God's proper name "Yahweh" (and "Jesus"), but also reverenced the name "God". e.g. Compare Matthew 19:24 against Mark 10:25/Luke 18:25... the word "heaven" has been substituted in place of "God", presumably because the Jewish Christians were accustomed to speaking that way, presumably out of habitual reverence for the name of God and out of a habitual desire to safeguard the name in their everyday speech. But the name they were safeguarding wouldn't have been "Yahweh", as "Yahweh" wasn't even part of their everyday speech. I think "kingdom of God" would have been "kingdom of Elohim" (or the Aramaic equivalent).

All three verses read "Theou".

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/19-24.htm

Maybe you mean the preceding verse which uses ouranon, but that undermines your explanation, because it's one saying using both terms. Why would they replace  "Theou" with "ouranon" in one place because of "habitual reverence" for the former only to use it immediately afterward in the same saying? That makes no sense.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 11:55:55 AM by The Theosist »
 

Offline aquinas138

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 12:33:42 PM »
"God" isn't our deity's name, and if it is in any sense a name, it's that of a Germanic pagan deity. The Mosaic commandment says explicitly "the name of Yahweh, your elohim", a fact that is lost in our translations that have dropped the divine name and read "the Lord's name", and its prohibition has absolutely nothing to do with an exclamation like "Oh my God!" but is bound up with ancient Hebrews mystical views of name and language. When it says not to misuse the name of "Yawheh" it means "Yawheh". If we want to talk tradition and sola scriptura, that is how the Hebrews always understood the commandment and why, to our utter shame, the sacred name doesn't appear in our Bible in the first place.

Despite a modern consensus, "Yahweh" is a scholarly reconstruction, so we don't know for sure that is how it was pronounced (I do, however, think it's probably correct); it's certainly never vocalized that way in the MT and is never pronounced by Talmudic Jews, anyway. And the sacred Name doesn't appear in our bibles because the Church followed the translators of the Septuagint and Jewish tradition in replacing it with "Lord." The Septuagint does this (centuries before the Christian era), the Vulgate does this, the Peshitta does this, and the Peshitta OT was translated from Hebrew, most likely by Jews, so it was not just following the LXX. The Masoretes themselves did this in vocalizing the Tetragrammaton as if it were the word "Adonai." Talmudic Jews don't even say "Adonai" outside of prayer, and they never write the four letters of the Name outside of the biblical text—actually using the Name at all is the departure from tradition.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 03:11:52 PM »
Except that's precisely what, and the only thing that, the commandment references: the name Yahweh.

Does it reference the name "Yahweh", or does it reference the name of Yahweh? (I don't mean that as a purely rhetorical question... I actually don't know enough Hebrew to properly parse the sentence. But all the translations I've looked at, including Jewish translations, say "the name of [Yahweh]".) These two phrases--"the name 'Yahweh'" and "the name of Yahweh"--are not equivalent. Only the name "Yahweh" is "the name 'Yahweh'", but many names can rightly be called "the name of Yahweh".

But even if the commandment does only explicitly forbid the misuse of the name "Yahweh", it doesn't follow that "Yahweh" is the only name we're not allowed to misuse. And if you're a Christian then I'm sure you agree that we can't misuse the name "Jesus", despite the fact that the name "Jesus" is not the same name as the name "Yahweh".

Quote
This tells me nothing, "God signifies God".

That's not what I said. What I said is that "God" (the name) signifies God (the real entity). And I suppose it could be further said that the name "God", when properly used, signifies nothing other than God.

Quote
A word that Deists, Unitarians, Muslims, Hindus, various pagans and even devil-worshippers use to signify their "supreme being" is a "holy name"? Are you sure?

My guess is, they borrow jargon from Christianity and misuse it. When they use that name, it signifies not God but devils. Nevertheless, their misuse of the name doesn't mean the name isn't holy or that we're allowed to throw it around willy nilly. (And we Christians probably shouldn't refer to their gods as "God".)

I suppose the notable difference is that "God" isn't a revealed name, and also the fact that "God" was already a Germanic term before it was put to the service of Christianity. But the fact remains, "God" is not an empty name that can just be thrown around will nilly and profaned. To dishonour the name "God" is to dishonour God.

Quote
All three verses read "Theou".

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/19-24.htm

Maybe you mean the preceding verse which uses ouranon, but that undermines your explanation, because it's one saying using both terms. Why would they replace  "Theou" with "ouranon" in one place because of "habitual reverence" for the former only to use it immediately afterward in the same saying? That makes no sense.

My bad, I didn't check the Greek. Well I don't know what's up with that. Guess either the Greek is corrupted or the Latin is corrupted, because they don't agree. In either case, I wasn't asserting that St. Matthew's gospel never says "God" or "kingdom of God". All I was saying is that the phrase "kingdom of heaven", which appears frequently in St. Matthew's gospel (much more frequently than "kingdom of God") and doesn't appear at all anywhere else, is a Hebraism. It's how the Jewish Christians, including St. Matthew, were accustomed to speak. And, from what I (as a non-expert) have heard, this particular Hebraism originated from a practice of trying to safeguard the holy name. If what I've heard is wrong then it's wrong; that's just what I've heard. Take it or leave it.

As for why he uses both phrases, I don't know. I do know that the gospel was originally composed in Hebrew or Aramaic and then translated into Greek. Maybe the Holy Ghost altered the words during translation or something. Or, maybe St. Matthew simply used both phrases.
 

Offline Jayne

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 03:37:25 PM »
So, what are we to make of this, whenever we see people on the Internet shouting "OMG"? Do we make public reparation for the blasphemy as soon as we see it, and publicly rebuke the person who has said it, in order to minimize the scandal he's causing as well as get him to think twice before using that sort of language?

Making reparation is a good idea, but not publicly rebuking people.  One of the principles for fraternal correction is that there is a reasonable expectation that the people will accept the correction.  I suspect that few people would be open to this.  In general, people prefer to excuse their actions rather than to admit to being wrong and trying to change.
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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 06:13:14 PM »


And I'm not a historian so I can't say for sure if the following is correct, but I've heard that some of the Hebraisms in St. Matthew's gospel are evidence that the Jewish Christians didn't reverence only God's proper name "Yahweh" (and "Jesus"), but also reverenced the name "God". e.g. Compare Matthew 19:24 against Mark 10:25/Luke 18:25... the word "heaven" has been substituted in place of "God", presumably because the Jewish Christians were accustomed to speaking that way, presumably out of habitual reverence for the name of God and out of a habitual desire to safeguard the name in their everyday speech. But the name they were safeguarding wouldn't have been "Yahweh", as "Yahweh" wasn't even part of their everyday speech. I think "kingdom of God" would have been "kingdom of Elohim" (or the Aramaic equivalent).

I am not sure whether or not what the jews do now matters to the argument, but I know hasidic jews won't even type "God." When you read their blogs/emails/texts you always get "G-d" or something like that.
 

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 06:25:48 PM »


That's not what I said. What I said is that "God" (the name) signifies God (the real entity). And I suppose it could be further said that the name "God", when properly used, signifies nothing other than God.



I understand you completely. Considering that there is only one God, and the name signifies the divine being, of which there is only one, the word god can only truly represent God and is therefore His name and His alone. Is this enough to make the use of the word god blasphemous...? Also, I agree that we should not be using the word god for pagan deities/muslim divine beings/etc. Would we all call female priests priests? No, we would not. We can refer to the false "divine" beings created by other religions by many other terms, no need to muddy the waters by legitimizing them in this way.
 

Offline Prayerful

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Re: The initialism "OMG"?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2020, 07:26:34 PM »
OMG is mostly used trivially. If so used, in that improper way, it's sinful. That said, sayers of OMG are unlikely to give a fiddlers.
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