Internet Acronyms

When I first arrived at University, and my new friends started conversing with me via e-mail, they complained that they didn't understand all the "funny letter things" that I kept using! Anyway, here's a list of the most common acronyms that I use after several years of using Usenet and IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

For a more complete list of 'net abbreviations, google knows all: Internet Acronyms.


Also known as "emoticons," these invaluable symbols let you convey some emotion or extra meaning in text messages, much like facial expressions do in real life.  to read them, turn your head 90 degrees to the left and you should be able to make out a little face.  Some people give their smilies noses, others don't, so I have included both versions here.

  :) or :-) Happiness or a joke
  :( or :-( Unhappy emotion
  ;) or ;-) Wink - implies sarcasm or something similar
  <g> Grin. Not really a smiley, but still an emoticon. Watch for variations such as <evil g> (evil grin), <bg> (big grin) and <vbg> (very big grin).

There are many variations on these basic ones, but once you have the basic idea you can usually guess what any variation means.

Common Abbreviations

AFAIK As Far As I Know
AFK Away From Keyboard
ATM At The Moment
BFN Bye For Now
brb Be Right Back
BTW By The Way
HTH Hope This Helps
IIRC If I Recall Correctly
IM(H)O In My (Humble/Honest) Opinion
IRL In Real Life
ISTR I Seem To Recall
IYSWIM If You See What I Mean
JOOI Just Out Of Interest
LOL Laugh Out Loud
NP No Problem
OTOH On The Other Hand
ROFL Rolling On Floor Laughing
SYS See You Soon
TTFN Ta ta for now
TTYL Talk To You Later
WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get

© Nathan Dimmock 1999

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