The Next Generation of Online Shorthand
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By DAVID POGUE of the New York Times.
By now, everybody, I hope, knows what LOL stands for. Most people probably recognize IMHO, BRB, and AFK. (If you don't know these, you can always Google* them.)
Online shorthand like this arose, of course, because it's so hard to type full English words on a cellphone's number keypad. And it's tedious to type the same common phrases over and over again in chat rooms or instant messages.
The problem with these online abbreviations, however, is that they're absolutely ancient; entire generations of teenagers have learned and outgrown LOL and OMG. The world desperately needs a new set of acronyms more relevant to today's online chat participants.
So here, with my compliments, are a few proposals: an updated list of online acronyms.
(In hopes to keep the list relevant to the youthful target audience, I invited my more recent summer interns, Zach Brass and Bart Stein, to write a few. Their suggestions, along with some from my occasional research assistant Emma Story, appear here along with mine. Thanks, dudes!)
* GI -- Google it
* MOP -- Mac or PC?
* FCAO -- five conversations at once
* IIOYT -- is it on YouTube?
* DYFH -- did you Facebook him/her?
* BIOI -- buy it on iTunes
* CMOS -- call me on Skype
* GGNUDP -- gotta go, no unlimited data plan
* WLF -- with the lady friend
* JUOC -- jacked up on caffeine
* 12OF -- twelve-o'clock flasher (refers to someone less than competent with technology, to the extent that every appliance in the house flashes "12:00")
* SML -- send me the link
* RHB -- read his/her blog
* MBLO -- much better-looking online
* KYST -- knew you'd say that
* NBL -- no battery left
* CTTC -- can't talk, teacher's coming
* TWD -- typing while driving
* CMT (CMF, CMM, CMB) -- check my Twitter (Facebook, Myspace, blog)
* CYE (CYF, CYM, CYB)--check your email (Facebook, Myspace, blog)
And a few just for iPhone owners:
* SPLETS -- send pics later; Edge too slow
* CSVUI -- can't send video, using iPhone
* BPWMI -- boss playing with my iPhone
* SIK -- sorry, iPhone keyboard
* OOM -- out of messages (for iPhone users who haven't upgraded their AT&T "200 messages a month" plan)
Finally, it occurred to me: Why should the convenience of online shorthand be the province of teenagers and twentysomethings? There ought to be a list that we, their parents and employers, can use, too. And now there is:
* WIWYA -- when I was your age
* YKT – you kids today
* CRRE -- conversation required; remove earbuds
* WDO? -- what are you doing online?
* NIWYM -- no idea what you mean
* NCK -- not a chance, kid
* B2W -- back to work
* AYD? -- are you drunk?
* LODH -- log off, do homework
* DYMK? -- does your mother know?
* IGAT -- I've got abbreviations, too
* IMHO = In My Humble Opinion; BRB = Be Right Back; AFK = Away From Keyboard