Ever seen an acronym you didn’t know? Are you a parent or teacher with kids online? Are you a business professional trying to stay savvy? Or just someone who loves to get online…
In an age where everything from job searching to dating is interactive, knowing how to communicate in your online life is a must. There are new technologies, new online services, and new lingo created every day. If you think it’s tough to keep up with it all, you’re not alone.
Welcome to the weird, wonderful world of online jargon Not only has the Internet and texting changed the way we communicate, it has spawned an entirely new language that is growing every day.
That’s why there is NetLingo, to keep track of new terms and organize it in a way that is useful to you. Whether you’re a professional who feels like you’re on information overload, or a power user who wants more, or a parent who wants to keep up with your kids, NetLingo can help.
NetLingo announced the publication of a new book this week “NetLingo: The List – The Largest List of Text & Chat Acronyms” and it contains all of acronyms and abbreviations you’ll see in text messages, email, IM, social networks, websites, dating sites, job sites, auction sites, discussion forums, gaming sites, chat rooms, blogs, and in the real world too.
This updated version of “NetLingo: The List” defines the crazy array of letters, numbers and symbols that comprise our new conversations. Known as acronyms, abbreviations, SMS talk and leetspeak, these terms are used by millions of people in a variety of online settings. This edition contains French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Welch, Czech and Chinese text terms too!
See if you know any of these popular acronyms:
What are acronyms and why are they so popular?
With millions of people texting and instant messaging every day, it’s no wonder you’ve seen this cryptic looking code. Acronyms are an integral part of computer culture and grew rapidly on the Internet. Now, along with an alphabet soup of abbreviations and symbolic messages, this online jargon has become a language of its own.
So what are acronyms? Shorthand? Leetspeak? How do you begin to understand a new language?
Let’s start with the basics: An acronym is derived from the first letters of a phrase and is pronounced as a new word, for example POTATO stands for “People Over Thirty Acting Twenty One” and is pronounced “potato.”
Shorthand refers to an abbreviation, or initialism, that is pronounced by saying the letters one-by-one, for example FYI is pronounced “F-Y-I” and BRB is pronounced “B-R-B”. There are, of course, exceptions. Some acronyms go both ways, such as FAQ, which can be pronounced “fak” or “F-A-Q”.
It should also be noted that acronyms are generally typed IN ALL CAPS (not to be confused with SHOUTING) whereas shorthand is often typed in all lowercase.
Now let’s start to mix things up. Sometimes the shorthand isn’t shorter than the original phrase, for example “dewd” means “dude” and “kewl” means “cool” and :::poof::: means “I’m gone”.
Leetspeak is a type of symbolic jargon in which you replace regular letters with other keyboard characters to form words, for example:
• backward and forward slashes create this shape “/\/\” to stand for the letter M;
• numbers and symbols often replace the letters they resemble (for example the term “leetspeak” is written as “!337$p34k”);
• letters can be substituted for other letters that might sound alike (such as “ph” is transposed with “f” so “phear” is used instead of “fear”); and
• common typing errors such as “teh” instead of “the” and “pwn” instead of “own” are left uncorrected.
The result is a dynamic written language that eludes conformity or consistency. In fact, the culture of online jargon encourages new forms of expression and users will often award each other’s individual creativity.
So what makes texting and instant messaging so popular?
In short, it’s fast, cheap, and cool. itz hw 2 tlk w/o bng hrd
Texting lets you finalize last-minute plans, track down friends, send pictures, correspond while traveling, and pass on information with just a few clicks of the cell phone keypad. IM lets you have real-time conversations with friends or colleagues or several people at once on your computer screen. Texing and IM are popular because they are private: no one can hear you “talking.” Acronyms and smileys are popular because they’re short and they ring emotional expression into a written world.
Face it, communication is changing. It’s becoming quicker and less formal, and while it’s impossible to capture every instance of every text message out there, this is the definitive list. Many people at some point will use or see a variation of a term in this book, often without the vowels so as to keep the text or IM short. Such as:
omw, meet me n frnt pls -or- got ur vm, thx 4 info, ttyl
Think it’s tough to understand? It’s not, take this test:
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghi t pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh?
Like most new things, communicating in abbreviations may seem strange at first but then fun after awhile. “NetLingo: The List” will help you translate the chat acronyms and text shorthand you come across while traversing the online world. In fact, the one place to learn all of the online terms you’ll ever need to know is NetLingo.com.
Written by Erin Jansen, founder of NetLingo.com and author of “NetLingo: The Internet Dictionary” and “NetLingo: The List – A Guide to Text & Chat Acronyms.” Get the new book on Amazon.com!