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'!
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!
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