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How do I Decipher Computer Shorthand?

Updated on April 25, 2016

What Does "LOL" Mean?

This should be a pretty short and maybe somewhat humorous hub. And, it's about those abbreviations and symbols often seen in emails, texting, and in comments left on blogs and websites. Much of which I don't understand!

Actually, I do now know what "LOL" means at the end of someone's comment or e-mail text, but for a long time, I didn't know, even though I'd been using e-mail for over a decade.

Many symbols of what I call "Computer Shorthand", were not understandable to me for a long time. I would read comments or reviews online and see things like, "LOL", "LMAO" or :) after the person's comment and not know what they meant. Eventually, I did find out mostly through reading the text of the comment or e-mail and getting the idea or intention in which it had been written. So I found that:

"LOL" means "Laugh out loud", often when the writer says something funny.

:) is a smiling face, usually to say that they're pleased, or to please you or tell you that what you hope for is true.

"LMAO" means,... Well, I still don't quite know. But I'm sure I'll find out eventually!

I've seen "WT.." followed by the first letter of a well known curse word, which I know indicates surprise, usually bad. Such as when someone leaves a comment on a website such as, "I voted for the guy and WT.., he goes and does this and I feel betrayed!"

"BTW" means "By the way".

"pics" means "pictures".

And so on. As time goes along, I do learn more about what different abbreviations and symbols mean in the world of e-mail and texting.

I certainly understand where the use of abbreviations and symbols comes from. With all the typing we're now doing, mostly without having had any formal typing classes, abbreviations are easier to deal with and much faster to type than many fully spelled out words.

BTW, what is the language of abbreviations in texting and emails called? is it "Textise"?, "Emailish?", "Symbolian"?

The interesting thing is how so many have become universal so quickly. For instance, LOL (Laughing out loud), could easily have had competition with LL(Laughing loudly). But, I've never seen "LL" in any text, so apparently (unless I missed it, which is entirely possible!) LOL took off and never looked back before any "competitor" could be invented.

I imagine I could probably check on google for a relatively comprehensive list of abbreviations and symbols used for texting. But, if there isn't, please feel free to tell me some, so long as they're clean, so I can get a better picture when reading text messages, e-mails, and online comments.

Thanks for reading!


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Please comment and tell me more about these strange abbreviations! Thanks!

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    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Haha, I think I had a few that night, lol. I am amoosed that I would try to coin a strange new hybrid word with moose and amused. Anyway, good hub!


    • myway720 profile image

      myway720 7 years ago from Gresham, Oregon

      Hi Ben! Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you were amused (amoosed?).

      Thanks for reading!


    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Very funny, btw I am amoosed and amused!

      Blackmarx sent me!