Possible WOTY: HMU

Sat Dec 25 15:56:44 UTC 2010

The Facebook Blog on December 14 discussed "HMU" in a post on 2010 Memology:  Top Status Trends of the Year, http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=466369142130.  "HMU" was number 1 on their list:
<<1. HMU
The shorthand for "hit me up" was this year's biggest surprise. In early 2009, the acronym HMU was virtually unheard of. Only a few posts a day contained HMU, and half of them were probably typos. By May, however, it started to grow slowly and was averaging about 20 posts a day. The volume roughly doubled every month, and by the end of 2009 it had risen to 1,600 posts a day-too modest of a number to be on our radar for last year's list.
However, HMU continued to grow aggressively throughout 2010, increasing by about 75 percent each month. By the end of summer, HMU reached 80,000 mentions per day.
In early September, an interesting pattern emerged in how people use HMU. Until that point, it was spreading like wildfire, but was being used with roughly equal frequency throughout the week. In September this changed, as usage rates started going through huge swings from day to day. The reason? Before September the demographic most likely to ask their friends to "HMU" was on summer break and looking to hang out most nights. Then many of these folks headed back to school, and HMU became a weekend-oriented request.>>
The post also includes a chart showing the abbreviation's growth in popularity.
The earliest listing on Urban Dictionary is from April 18, 2009:
<<AIM acronym for: hit me up 
I'm bored. someone HMU>>
I came across this term, which was new to me, in a Philadelphia Inquirer article on Words to the Wise:  Summing Up 2010, http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20101225_Words_to_the_wise__Summing_up_2010.html.
John Baker

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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