Thursday, 18 August 2011

Anaerobic abbreviation

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this but why when running do we abbreviate our training buddies name to just one syllable whilst exercising. I am often renamed Jez, Jer or simply J by some people, even tonight I found myself calling Duncan.....Duncs!

So we have:
  • Elizabeth = Liz
  • Michael =Mike or Mick
  • Jeremy = Jez, Jer, or J
  • Duncan = Duncs (I promise I never will call you that again)
  • Andrew = And
and many more ridiculous shortenings of our handles but as soon as we stop and get our breath back we start calling each other by our full names or nicknames, I theorise it is a case of anaerobic abbreviation caused by lack of oxygen or simply shortness of breath :-)


  1. Haha, yes, simply shortness of breath!

  2. Steven Pinker (surprise!) explains this. Talking/speaking is all about restricting the air flow out of our lungs. Consonants INTERRUPT the air flow etc. That's why on-stage speakers often get panicky; all that speaking means that regular breathing (in, out, in, out, ...) is interrupted and we start to feel panicky.
    Jogging and talking means competition for airflow, so your brain (Good News!) has worked out that it's better to switch into short-hand while running.

  3. I think some of those are pretty common and not just related to a shortness of breath, I have been called Liz for many years! Although the family (and Richard D) call me Lizzy!