I missed the deadline to sign up to participate in the group blog challenge A-Z this year. Bummer! It looks like so much fun. We actually play a version of the A to Z in Sweet Tea Mafia group about once a week with an announced theme. It’s a lot of fun! Since it’s such a great blog prompt and so much fun, I figured I’d just take the next few weeks and go out on a limb and do a little A to Z on my own. I also figured since so many of my heroes and heroines are military, prior military, or married to the military, I’d share some of my own experiences this way. The theme of my very own Alpha to Zulu will be Life as a Military Bride. And here we go!
Post one: Alpha is for Acronyms.
Good gravy, y’all! I swear when you marry the military you should be issued a code breaking book to help with the sorting out of all the acronyms that are tossed at you in short order. For instance…
“I’m going TAD. If you need anything get up with the FRO and our BAH will be short that month because I’ll be on COMRATs for a few weeks. And be sure to maintain OPSEC while I’m gone.”
As a new bride, you’re like, uh, what?!
What all that gibberish means is the hubby is going away for training and the readiness officer will help or answer questions if needed. The housing allowance for the rent is going to get cut because he’s going to be fed in the field. And for gravy sake, I must keep my mouth shut about all of that. Learning the lingo isn’t easy. But, after a few years it comes as naturally as your native tongue and soon your extended family is looking at you funny when you go home for visits because you’re speaking in riddles as far as they’re concerned.
Because it is foreign to most and is worthy of a decoder ring, in my books, I try to let the reader in on the code as early on in the story as possible if I’m going to be consistently using an acronym so they’re not lost and feeling left out. I also don’t want my stories to read like a Marine Corps manual. I think some get it a little wrong in that respect because they try to be too technical for their audience. It can be overwhelming and quite frankly boring, especially in a romance. So, I always try to be reader friendly. I might use an acronym here and there to lend to realism, but I’ll always explain what it means.
What say you readers? Ever read something so heavily laden with acronyms you got frustrated and maybe quit reading?
If you’d like to jump in on one of our A to Z games over on Facebook, come join me at Sweet Tea Mafia.