from Tower's epulse, P2 once again ahead of the curve.

Emoticons are the often annoying vernacular of typographic symbols used to
lend flavor to email. For the most part we all stopped speaking of them,
let alone using them, at least a year ago -- things like  :-)  for happy
and  :-(  for sad, not to mention the slew of related alphanumeric codes,
such as "BTW" for "by the way" and "IMHO" for "in my humble opinion." But
some trends just won't die, and a relatively recent digerati abbreviation
is worthy of mention. Popping up for some time now on emails, especially
on music-related email lists, is "NP" -- which stands for "now playing."
The writer tags the end of an email with the name of the song or album
he's listening to, more than likely on headphones hooked to the CD player
of the computer on which he's doing the typing. Like the best emoticons,
"NP" can be a valuable window on the psychology of your correspondent.
When someone tags a sentence with  :-)  she may be happy or she may be
trying to put a smile on a less-than-friendly missive. When someone writes
you an email about a failed romance and tags the end with "NP: The Jam's
Snap," there's nothing to worry about, but when it reads "NP: Blue
Monday," a phone call may be in order. An "NP" in music-related
correspondence serves as, perhaps, the ultimate act of one-upsmanship. A
writer who tags an email with a CD by a hearty avant-gardist, such as
Alvin Curran or James Tenney, is really saying, "Yeah, I do listen to this
stuff." (Sure, he could be lying.) But "NP" can also have unintended
consequences. There's nothing like reading a come-on from a would-be
admirer -- or a lengthy email treatise on some heady subject -- only to
find, at the end, "NP: Dream Theatre's When Dream and Day Unite" or "NP:
The Lion King." At which point, depending on the reader's point of view,
the value of that email may have diminished considerably. (Weidenbaum)

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