The Cool Parent's Guide to Internet Slang

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

When I first saw 'LOL' on a forum thread, back in the 90s, I wondered what it meant. I stared at the screen, for almost a full minute, thinking of what the acronym stands for. I wondered if it was something rude, something bad, or meant to visually scold a person, because it was usually accompanied by an exclamation mark (or two). But I had an inkling that it is an acronym, because it was typed in upper case letters.

I deduced, at that moment, LOL stands for: Lack Of Love.

Then common sense told me that it seems rather far fetched that so many people in that particular thread was  accusing one another of suffering from a lack of love - and in that friendly banter... nobody seems to mind that such a notion was even suggested to them.

So I Yahoo-ed (yes, Google wasn't THE main search engine back then) it, and LOL-ed at myself.

It's 2013, and the internet has not only become a source of information, but it has evolved into a communication tool which the young (and some old!) have embraced with fervour. Whilst I don't really care about the abbreviations which the young use while chatting on social media and chat rooms, I realise that getting advanced in years should not be an excuse for use to remain stagnant, ignorant, and not keep up with the times.

I draw the line at using these abbreviations in formal email messages and in blog posts, but admittedly, the knowledge does come in handy when we're responding to chat messages on mobile or on tablet devices. In informal settings, they are an extremely effective way of saving keystrokes - provided that the people whom you are chatting with, understand it as well. Never mind that even though it saves the writer's time, the reader takes more than twice the time to understand what the writer is trying to say!

But saving keystrokes and chatting in (secret groups) is not the main reason why parents should keep up with the times!

Knowing these terms and using it in messages with the kids will totally disarm them - and put you in the 'cool parents' category, after they get over the fact that they can't really keep secrets from mum and dad.

So... to start you off, here is a basic list of the most commonly used internet slang and acronyms. If you come across something (in upper case letters) that is not listed here - chances are they are swear words. Don't be alarmed -  it's probably nothing but harmless 'texting'!


Abbreviations are also case sensitive. Here is a complete list of internet slangs and abbreviations from the Slang Dictionary.

Have fun deciphering online messages. Although it may seem overwhelming now, the most wonderful thing I have realised about remembering acronyms is that you can almost always figure out what it means after you've read what it means the first time round!

HTH, TTFN!

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17 comments :

  1. Haha your last line had me laughing cos I gotta go and check back that list! See la, me dinosaur! Thanks for the informative post! TY!

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    1. Takes some time to get used to it... after awhile, just looking at the alphabets will pop the entire phrase up!

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  2. Nice list, Regina! I use a lot of FYI at work, and it mostly means "For you, idiot!" Muahaha!

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    1. Hahahhaha!! I usually replace the 'FOR' with something else :p

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  3. Very cool list! I'm gonna bookmark this for reference so I can speak 'cool'! :)

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    1. Or at least smile 'knowingly' and watch 'em squirm because you understand :)

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  4. Emily! I like your version of FYI better! Will try to use it more often FNO (From Now On)! J/K

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  5. Very nice to have put this up. I used a lot of short text as well. Here are my contributions. DIL. :) It means a lot to different people. It can be daughter in law. But to me, it's deeply in love. :)
    OTW- on the way
    FON- full of nonsense
    diff- difference

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    1. Thanks Ally!

      In my case, I use: FOS a lot :D

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  6. Great list! I'm really bad with acronyms so I'm sure this will come in handy. I LOLat your lack of love comment but to make you feel better, there is this mum i know who signed off all her emails to her teenage kids as LOL, cos she thought it meant lots of love!! Of course the kids were always wondering what was so funny. Haha

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    1. Hahahah!! Zee... my MUM did the same! Plus after that she action send me follow up message - see, Mummy also knows!

      Then I said: Know what? What does it mean? I dunno.
      She: Lots of Love. XO

      AYOH!

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  7. You missed out ROFL and FML.. took me super long to get it man.. hahaha

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    1. ROFL quite common la Mad... I toyed with the idea of putting ROFLMAO and FML but dowan lah! This is a family blog, yes? Hahahah!!

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  8. That is A LOT of acronyms! I will never remember them all. I have heard of people thinking that LOL stood for Lots Of Luck.
    Ha! Lol!
    xx

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  9. Cool list, I was clueless too years ago when I was getting used to it! Thanks for the info, there are some I had no clue about on here :)

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