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Internet Abbreviations

Internet Abbreviations

Instant message, e-mail and text message abbreviations pepper our conversations these days both screen-to-screen and face-to face, and if you don’t spend a lot of time texting or chatting online, you may feel out of the loop. With every new technology comes new vocabulary, usually about the parts and purposes of fresh inventions. This has certainly been true of the internet and cellular phones. Young people just one generation ago knew nothing of hard drives, CD-ROM, text messages or Google, but today, there’s far more than just new vocabulary. Text abbreviations have almost created a whole new dialect, and if you can’t tell your BRBs from your LOLs, here’s a handy reference guide to help you speak Text with the best of them.

Many of the following text message abbreviations can stand alone and do not need to be incorporated into a larger message to convey meaning. However, they are not limited and can be placed in a sentence as indicated in the examples.

2 – two/too/to

* I’m going 2 work at 2.
* Me 2.

2nite – tonight

4 – four/for

* He has something 4 me.

bf/gf – boyfriend/girlfriend

* My bf’s taking me 2 dinner.

bff – best friend (forever)

* She’s my bff.

brb – be right backThis stand-alone text abbreviation is used to excuse oneself from an internet conversation for a short while. Most often, it is used when absences will be under five minutes in duration.

c – see

* I’ll c you 2nite.

DM – direct message“DM” is a relatively new internet abbreviation that began with the advent of twitter. Rather than posting an update for the whole twitterverse (twitter universe) to see, individual members can send each other private messages directly. “DM” can be used as a noun or a verb.

* I’ll DM you with my email address.

* I sent you a DM yesterday.

g2g/gtg – got to goWhen you have to leave in a hurry and don’t have time for a more formal farewell, “g2g” is your go-to stand-alone text abbreviation. You can follow it up with “l8r,” “ttyl” or “ttfn.”

idk – I don’t knowUse “idk” as a complete sentence in and of itself, or follow it up with what you don’t know.

* idk what I’m doing this weekend

IM – instant messageLike “DM,” “IM” can be used as a verb or a noun. For example, you can send someone an IM, or you can IM someone.

imo/imho – in my opinion/in my humble opinion

* imo, we should get there early to get a good seat

j/k – just kiddingThis abbreviation is usually added on to follow up a joking statement, often to clarify that the statement was in fact meant to be humorous.

* We sold your dog while you were in Florida. j/k

k – okay

l8r – laterUse as a stand-alone farewell or in conjunction with “c u.”

* cul8r (See you later)

lmao – laughing my a** offStronger than “LOL,” but not quite as embellished as “ROFL,” “lmao” can be used alone to express raucous laughter.

lol – laughing out loudAnother stand-alone, “lol” can be intensified by using capital letters (LOL) and should only be used when one is actually laughing out loud. To express an appreciation of humor that did not result in an audible laugh, use “ha” or “haha.”

np/no prob – no problem

omg – oh my gosh/oh my god

pita – pain in the a**

* This puppy is such a pita sometimes, but he’s so cute.

rofl/rotfl – rolling on (the) floor laughingThis is obviously a bit of hyperbole. Use sparingly.

sup – What’s up?

thx – thanks

ttfn – ta-ta for nowWhen you intend to speak with someone again at a later time, and you only need to bid farewell for the moment, “ttfn” is an acceptable way to end a conversation temporarily. ttyl – talk to you later

* g2g. ttyl

u – you

ur – your/you’re

* thx, ur the best

* u left ur glasses at my house

wtf – What the f***?A stand-alone expression conveying any combination of disbelief, frustration, anger, fear and/or confusion.

* friend: The bank made a mistake and took all my money, and now they won’t put it back!
* me: WTF?!

When using any of these text abbreviations, remember that they are extremely informal and therefore do not need to strictly adhere to standard English rules of punctuation, capitalization or grammar. Use them in text messages, online chats and any other informal, electronic communication where brevity is key.

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