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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Using the Internet? A guide to common internet slang terms

When texting or using the internet, do you find yourself wondering what those string of letters mean, or why someone is using a word in a way that doesn’t make sense?  Acronyms and slang have evolved, and continues to evolve, changing the landscape of “internet speak”.  To help guide you, we created a list of some of the most common terms used today.  

AMA - Ask Me Anything.  This is a series started on Reddit (an online bulletin board system with registered community members that can submit content), where an authority on a subject fields open questions. It is now used more widely on the Internet, with any sort of public Q&A being termed an AMA.
BAE – Babe or Before Anyone Else.  Urban Dictionary says Bae is a Danish word for poop. Unfortunately, the Internet thinks it’s a term of endearment: either an acronym for “before anyone else” or a shortening of “babe”.
BRB – Be Right Back.  Used to let another person you are away and cannot communicate, since they cannot actually see you are away.
DAE – Does Anyone Else?  DAE is generally a prefix for a question, where the person asking wants to know if they are not alone in whatever they are experiencing. It’s huge on Reddit, niche forums, and discussion groups, but is not used as regularly elsewhere on the Internet.
DM or PM – Direct Message or Private Message.  Most social media sites have features to let you send private messages, or direct messages to or from anyone.  It’s especially useful for sharing information you don’t want to post in public, like your phone number or address.
Facepalm – Short for “Ugh, idiot.”  When someone does something stupid, instinctively, your palm hits your own face or forehead. That entire series of action is now reduced to a single word: facepalm. It can be used to convey dismay, disappointment, ridicule, or disapproval.
Headdesk – Supreme Frustration.  Headdesk is the extreme facepalm. When someone says or does something monumentally idiotic, you hit your head on the desk to convey your utter loss of faith in humanity.
HIFW – How I Felt When.  This is another acronym that reduces the number of characters you type, giving you more space to say what you want in the 140-character limitation of Twitter.
ICYMI – In Case You Missed It.  One of the few times the Internet tries to be polite.  It’s a way of saying, “You might have already seen this, but if not, here you go.”
IDK – I Don’t Know.  Simple as that.
ILY / LY – I Love You / Love You.  Simple as that.
IMO / IMHO – In My Opinion / In My Humble Opinion.  IMO is the safe way to express your opinions without making it sound like you are proclaiming a universal truth. IMHO is the way to do that while seeming humble, or at least pretending to.
IRL – In Real Life.  The Internet is the virtual life. People often have a whole second persona online, or keep their real life neatly separated from their online life. If you want to talk about something in your real life, you qualify it with “IRL”.
JSYK – Just So You Know.  “FYI” was formerly used for schooling someone.  JSYK is the new FYI, so get with it.
LULZ – For Kicks.  This is an off-shoot of LOL (Laugh Out Loud) or LOLs, but is usually used in the form of “For the lulz”, which would be just like saying “for the kicks” or “for the laughs”.
MFW – My Face When.  Similar to HIFW (How I Felt When), these are mainly intended as reactions coupled with photos or GIFs. They are also often used to provide a funny caption to an image of a trending topic.
NSFW – Not Safe For Work.  If the link says “NSFW”, then it’s not safe to open in an environment where someone might see it and be offended.
OMG – Oh My Gosh!  As it states. 
PAW – Parents Are Watching.  If kids want to avoid saying or showing something while their parents are around, PAW is a warning to the recipient. In recent times, Code 9 has been also been used instead of PAW.
QTF – Quoted For Truth.  There are two ways this is used. First, when someone says something you agree with so vehemently that you couldn’t have said it better yourself. Second, when someone says something and you want to hold them to it in the future, as proof.
ROTFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing.  Indicates great amusement at something.
SMH – Shaking My Head.  Like headdesk and facepalm, SMH is used to convey your disappointment at someone doing or saying something utterly stupid.
TBT – Throw Back Thursday.  When you want to post an old photo, hold off till Thursday and tag it with #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT.  It has become a central part of the Internet’s lexicon and is used everywhere.
TIL – Today I Learned.  When you learn about information that isn’t new but is novel for you, share it with the world by adding a “TIL”.
TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read.  Used to indicate that one didn't read the whole text.
Troll - A person who deliberately starts arguments and upsets people by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages online.  Their sole intent is provoking readers into an emotional response.
TTYL – Talk To You Later.  Used to essentially say “goodbye” at the end of a digital conversation.
WTF / WTH – What the F*** / What the Heck.  It is not usually considered as offensive as the full expression.  May be used either to introduce a question: “WTF are you talking about?”, or as an interjection: "WTF! That's a load of bull!"
YOLO – You Only Live Once.  YOLO is a justification for doing something that you probably shouldn’t be doing, but want to do it anyway. It’s also used ironically as commentary on someone else doing something idiotic.


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