Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Internet Initialisms

Although I’ve adopted a few initialisms such as BTW, LOL, and IMHO in my own informal writing, I’m mostly ignorant of the alphabet soup current on Twitter and other social media sites.

When a reader recently introduced me to the combination DRTL, I realized that this new language represents not just a kind of shorthand, but also a new philosophy of written language. This particular construct, DRTL, seems to me to symbolize the new philosophy:

DRTL = Didn’t Read, Too Long.

Strings of commonly understood letter combinations such as FYI (For your information), TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday), and ASAP (As soon as possible) pre-date the Internet, of course, but they never occurred in the profusion that exists now. Readers who share my lack of currency in Abbreviation-Speak may find the following list useful.

AFAIK: As far as I know
AIUI: As I understand it
BTDT: Been there, Done that
BTW: By the way
F2F: Face to face
FOAF: Friend of a friend
FWIW: For What it’s worth
GAL: Get a life
GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out
HTH: Hope that helps
IANAL: I am not a lawyer
ICYMI: In case you missed it
IIRC: If I recall correctly
IMHO: In my humble opinion
IMO: In my opinion
IRL: In real life
ISTM: It seems to me
JK (also J/K) Just kidding
LOL: Laughing out loud
OMG: Oh, My God
OTOH: On the other hand
OTT: Over the top
STW: Search the Web
TIL: Today I learned
TMI Too much information
TTYL: Talk to you later
WYSIWYG: What you see is what you get

Of course this list is a mere scratching of the surface. And I’ve deliberately left out the ones that contain a gratuitous F. Nevertheless, even a short list may help a few codgers navigate Twitter with a little more comprehension. HTH.

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