It's been brought to my attention that there's something missing in my little corner of the educational world on chat. I speak of an atlas for the unitiated to help them figure out what the hell the rest of us are talking about when we use abbreviations and acronyms. So here goes a short rundown on all the important terms you need to know for chat and email and messenger services:
a/s/l- ugh. widely reviled. stands for 'age/sex/location', and is the battle cry of trolls and bots everywhere. A sure path to getting yourself booted out of a room or treated like a piece of roadkill.
afk- stands for 'away from keyboard'. Whether it's to have a smoke or go through half a roll of Charmin, this lets people know not to bother trying to talk to you for a bit because you won't be in front of the monitor to see it. Otherwise, you get some that will get all pissy thinking you're ignoring them. Basically gets you out of conversations without a commitment to coming back... EVER.
booter- a booter... Napoleonic issue ridden, these people use programs they usually steal from someone else to ruin life for those in chat. Mostly. A booter uses this program to forcibly eject the object of their dislike out of the chatroom. One could make the argument for some compensation problems...
bot or pornbot- automated programs that log into chat under an sn *acronym definition following* and pretend to be real women hard up for 'hot sexx now' to lure in the desperate, the acne ridden, and the terminally stupid to their porn websites. Me love you long time.
brb, bbl, bblm, bbs- these are all ways to tell someone you're stepping away from the computer. They are, respectively: be right back, be back later, be back later maybe, be back soon. Take ANY AND ALL of these with a grain of salt, because if you try to take them as set in stone, you're liable to feel like an idiot when the person who used the bbs doesn't, in fact, come back at all. It's just the way it works.
btw- stands for 'by the way'. Frequently used as a precursor to something like 'you ASSHOLE...'. Situations vary.
cyber- used to describe the act of having sex online via the written word, with or without the webcam bonus. Usually used in a very derogatory fashion. If someone says Jenny cybers, odds are Jenny won't be inviting them over for dinner.
ggp or gtgp- these are 'gonna go pee' and 'got to go pee'. Also qualifies as TMI.
gmta- stands for 'great minds think alike'. Used after two people post the same remark at the same time. The online equivalent of 'jinx'.
gtg- stands for 'got to go'. Simple.
hb- stands for 'hurry back'. Again... do I need to explain this?
iggy- this is an abbreviation of 'ignore'. There's a function in messenger programs and chat programs called 'ignore' that is used to block from your sight those that offend or bore. Very handy. Can be viewed as a competitive sport. 'Stuart has 1500 ppl on iggy, but *I* have 2800. Loser.'
imho- stands for 'in my humble opinion'. Usually followed by a NON humble opinion. Irony lives.
irl- stands for 'in real life'. Used most often to describe meeting someone, in the real world as opposed to online. 'Sam and Sheila don't just cyber, they have sex irl'. See?
lmao- stands for 'laughing my ass off'. Obviously figurative. If, when laughing, one's ass physically falls off, consult physician.
lol- stands for 'laughs out loud'. Typed in to show general amusement. Actually laughing out loud not required.
nm - stands for 'nevermind'. Used frequently when dealing with someone with inferior mental capabilities, when one has become weary of attempting to explain that two plus two does, the world over, equal FOUR.
np- stands for 'no problem'. Substitute for the internationally accepted 'you're welcome'. One more way to make manners as casual and pain free as possible.
pos- stands for 'piece of shit'. Most commonly seen when referring to one's freezing, locking, error messaging, dragging, lagging computer, right before it gets thrown through the nearest window.
ppl- stands for 'people'. Self explanatory. If it's not, I can't help you.
rofl- stands for 'rolling on floor laughing'. For showing much stronger amusement. Literally rolling on the floor is, of course, optional, and not necessarily recommended.
sn- stands for 'screen name'. Alias chosen by those who come into chat or use one of the various messenger services. Means absolutely NOTHING. Could be the girl behind the sn 'virginlesliesuperhottie' isn't so much a girl as a six foot tall transexual with an eating disorder and a gambling problem.
ssdd- ah, one of my personal favorites. stands for 'same shit different day'. Great answer when asked 'how's it going?', especially if you're old and bitter. *looks at fingernails*
tmi- stands for 'too much information'. Used generally in situations where someone has shared facts that threaten to make your lunch come back up the hard way.
ttfn- stands for 'ta ta for now'. Slightly flippant was of saying good-bye, generally used for those people with the importance of a Q-tip.
ttyl- stands for 'talk to you later'. Casual, but a bit more friendly than ttfn. Hey, I'm not making this shit up, I swear.
ty- stands for 'thank you'. I shouldn't have to hand you a map where 'thank you' is concerned. You'll use this one a lot. At least if you're not a total schmuck. Also used: tyvm, which is 'thank you very much'. Use as directed.
vc- stands for 'voice chat'. This is a function in chat where you can talk to others using your mic, and hear them on your speakers. Also used by frustrated DJ's and those whose sole grasp of English is the word 'hello?' repeated ad infinitum.
wb- stands for 'welcome back'. This is a no-brainer.
wtf- stands for 'what the fuck'. Most times used as a question, like if someone comes into the chatroom and makes a statement that resembles a code the CIA couldn't crack... wtf?
yw, yqw, yvw- group of acronyms one step above 'np'. These are, in order: you're welcome, you're quite welcome, you're very welcome. Handy to use if you think 'no problem' makes you look like someone off the set of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
tc- stands for 'take care'. Generally reserved for people you'd actually hit the brakes for if you saw them crossing the street. Use sparingly for best effect.
gd, mf- Okay, I started to leave these out, but they run rampant in chat, so you might want to know them, especially since they're used in conjunction with many of the previously mentioned acronyms. gd = goddamn or goddamned; mf = motherfucking. Will be seen FREQUENTLY with rofl and lmao, like this... roflmmfgdao.
Ttyl, ggp, might bbl. Going to go head to chat so I can iggy that gd booter that's been driving me mad. Just have to wade through the bots. Tyvm for dropping by. Hb and tc. It's a jungle out there. Roflmmfgdao. If you can make it through that without having to scroll back and forth until your mouse cries in pain, you've officially passed your final Terminology 101 exam.
I'll add more as the need becomes apparent. Stay tuned.