Background on informant: Informant is a senior at USC, studying philosophy, politics and law. He is from New York City.
Informant: There’s this abbreviation I use with some of my friends. It’s DWAI and stands for “Don’t Worry About It.” My friend claims to have invented this abbreviation herself, and I’ve never heard it anywhere else so I totally believe her. She’s made up other types of acronyms like that so I totally believe it was originally her thought.
“I haven’t really studied that much for this test but DWAI, I’m sure it will turn out OK.”
“Oh you spilled your drink on me. Just DWAI.”
It’s just sort of a fun saying to pepper your conversations with because it really rolls off the tongue because it’s a good life motto.
Analysis: This piece of folklore was especially interesting to me because I had heard the informant say it on many prior occasions and I noticed that I had started to spontaneously intersperse it in my own speech, from time to time. I think this folklore is really inventive but also very reflective of the culture. The informant noted that he and his friend like to use abbreviations and I think that is a larger trend in a generation that relies heavily on informal text communication. It is interesting then to see how that written form of communication is transferred to being folklore. The same perhaps could be said for other abbreviations, like IRL.