I periodically contract people to provide services I either cannot or do not want to do myself. Since my daughter is home from college and in need of money, I thought I could take advantage of her recently acquired web-development skills. My daughter has adapted to her role as a contractor quite quickly. We had a 9:00 AM appointment to review the project and she is nowhere to be found.
I thought to myself: “Where’s Jessica? She’s missing in action (MIA)”. In fact, Jessica stayed out late with friends last night and is still fast asleep. Not only is she not MIA she’s fully engaged in producing no action at all.
It occurred to me I often use MIA to refer to people who have forgotten about commitments they’ve made. The more traditional use of MIA refers to persons who are unaccounted for in war zones. Using “MIA” to refer to a kid who forgot to set her alarm is a long ways from the original use of the term. Oh, how rude of me.