Yeah…but what does it mean?

Yesterday afternoon I was reading a few Facebook status updates when I came across one that took me at least four times of reading to understand yet alone understand. It was written in some form of shorthand or lost language of hieroglyphics. There were brackets but I think they were meant to show character expressions rather than a form of gramar undertone. There were fits of laughter but because of the positioning came across as nervous laughter rather than enjoyable. At any rate, it caused me to write the following status update of my own:

I would prefer if people would get over the TXT language and the shortcut mindset of social media and begin to rediscover grammar and vocabulary.

That update has (as of this morning when I deleted it to start a fresh day) received 22 likes and 36 comments (I will hold all references to this is how your fan page should be looking with each status update….) and sparked a bit of conversation that as Michelle Bing put it, covered the evolution of language, literacy skills, privacy issues, loss of identity, and road signs. Maybe even a little neuroscience too!

So I thought today we could come up with our own list of social media acronyms and developmental/experimental language. All you have to do is leave your favorite acronym or acronyms and what they mean in a comment. By the end of the day we should have quite a nice list. Ready? Go!


About andrewodom

Social Media Manager at Delta Career Education Corp.
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21 Responses to Yeah…but what does it mean?

  1. Matt Adams says:

    I was thrilled to read this post, mainly, because I have NO idea what half of the acronyms mean, and when I do get one, I have to Google it. But my neice taught me one recently that I kind of like. If you are being sarcastic in a text all you have to put at the end is *eg* which means evil grin.

    Have a great day,

  2. OMG, it’s way to early for this Drew… lol. Need more coffee… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Actually, I really dislike OMG, but ever since one of our non-techie instructors here told me she thought everyone was sending her “lots of love” for the past year or so, I’ve really enjoyed “lol” and its new double-meaning here in Charleston.

  3. Dawn Zimmerman says:

    My favorite would have to be OMG (oh my gosh) and then of course all the face symbols which I have no idea how to create! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Molly Margosian says:


  5. Molly Margosian says:

    Oh, and I learned another one last night… “SMH”

  6. NET= Not enough time
    DWTW= Doesn’t want to work
    WM= Why Me?
    WC= Who Cares?

  7. I am so on-board with making people spell and type correctly! I understand that the technical world is changing faster than I can keep up and I also expect that during my lifetime the majority of electronics will be voice activated. That being said- do you really want to listen yourself to sleep? Do you want to turn on your computer and have it tell you the news? Somebody, somewhere needs to type the books,news,captions on your TV,menu’s,etc. Do you want to order CFS for dinner? (Chicken Fried Steak) or read TBW! on the frontpage of the paper? (The Buckeyes Win!)

  8. Byron Avery says:

    Drew – thanks for this post. It drives me crazy to have to figure out what some people are trying to say!!

  9. Byron Avery says:

    Oh, BTW, how about NP?

  10. Brianna Hines says:

    ROTFL (Rolling on the Floor Laughing)
    TTYL(Talk to you later)
    BTW (By the way)
    LMB(A)O (Laughing my Butt Off {I’m sure you could figure out the other one})
    SN (Side Note)
    OAN (On Another Note)
    #FML (F*** my close attention if you see this one)
    #Dead(killing myself laughing)

    Just to name a few ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Jennie says:

    Wow… favorite acronyms, hmmm. I use BRB and LOL alot. (“Be right back” and “laugh out loud”, though I do like the lots of love Michelle; funny). I tend to actually do a lot of text writing when I’m online. I think maybe it’s because when I got started I used IM with AOL (ha! acronyms) and you needed to due to the slow connection speeds. I also like OMG and smilies. If I’m being honest, well, I use a few others just not at work because they are taken poorly. I’ll let you guys which ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Gena Ryan says:

    I really must be old because I have barely heard of any of these…. I do love ROFL though. And am a frequent user of LOL.

    I would love to post some of the status updates I’ve seen. I have called Molly in on several occasions to decifer what in the world they are trying to say ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Rachel Garrison says:

    I dont mind ones like “NP” I can definitly figure that out, but “SMHโ€ I could not figure out to save my life!

  14. Tyler says:

    SMH is a favorite of team high school here in Carlisle. And yes, we have been known to use it in conversation…

  15. I don’t mind acronyms at the end of sentences/texts/posts, etc. because I think it’s clever and sometimes they make me chuckle or at least smile. When someone tags a โค or closes with a smiley at the end of their note, it feels good. But when I have to decipher every other word it becomes cumbersome. No. Not cumbersome. It makes me cringe because it's an utter disrespect for spelling, grammar and communication. I don't mean that we always have to follow the rules (because I just broke a few in the last couple of sentences). But we should respect them. These selected real Facebook posts make my point:

    "rele wish i felt better ๐Ÿ˜ฆ tha doc. gna figure out wats wrong wif me lol"

    (Below is a mother talking about her husband (Chris) and (Caleb) their baby):

    "chris has been up all nite wif caleb fussin n he has fed him twice now. if he fusses this time we gna hafta take him sumwhere!"

    Now, maybe it's just me but I recall worrying when they started making shoes without shoelaces because I feared my kids wouldn't know how to tie a shoe. I remember getting a lot of praise for being the first of my siblings to master that skill and this gave me a sense of accomplishment that I believe has carried me forward in life. (Okay, maybe that's a stretch). But what kept me from going crazy about the invention of velcro sneakers was remembering my parents complaining about the calculator replacing the slide rule.

    "Kids aren't going to know how to do math!" They cried. At the time, I thought that was a stretch. Oops. Maybe I should have gone crazy about those velcro sneakers. And maybe we should all go crazy about this new social media language because maybe (and this might be a stretch), but just maybe, kids won't learn how to write. And that would make me cry, too.

    • andrewodom says:

      Great illustrations Richard. Yes, it does seem a bit over the top in light of your case-in-points. However, I think the real issue is not so much that English will be replaced as it is me asking, “is the 464 character limit on a Facebook status not enough for you to say what you have to say? So much so that you have to use a ton of acronyms?”

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