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Basic Web Speak

Updated on June 20, 2014

For the Newbies

The internet is all about quick information in and quick information out. If you are well experienced in web surfing or emailing or social media then this lens is not for you.

But if you have ever been surfing through a forum, or Facebook, or just about anywhere there is socializing and noticed weird abbreviations you didn't understand then here is a basic starter list to help you understand what people are trying to say.

If you are experienced in common sayings and think I have left off a vital "basic" dialogue then please let me know in the guestbook and I will add it.

Are You Confused by Internet Short Forms?

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"The Internet is the world's largest library. It's just that all the books are on the floor."

~John Allen Paulos

Common Internet Short Forms - Everyone Should Know

Here is a list of basic internet sayings you will come across. Basically, they are short forms for common sayings used in every day language.

  1. AFK - Away From The Keyboard
  2. BFN - Bye For Now
  3. BRB - Be Right Back
  4. BTW - By The Way
  5. CC - Carbon Copy
  6. DH - Dear Husband or Darling Husband
  7. FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
  8. FWIW - For What Its Worth
  9. FYI - For Your Information
  10. IMHO - In My Honest/Humble Opinion
  11. LOL - Laugh Out Loud
  12. MSG - Message
  13. NT or n/t or (NT) - No Text (usually found in the title of a email letting you know there is no text in the body. So once you read the subject line you can delete it.
  14. OIC - Oh I See
  15. ISO - In Search Of
  16. OTOH - On The Other Hand
  17. R - Are
  18. ROFL - Rolling On the Floor Laughing
  19. SO - Significant Other
  20. TTFN - Ta Ta For Now
  21. TTYL - Talk To You Later
  22. U - You
  23. URL - a sites address... http://www. etc
  24. VBG - Very Big Grin
  25. WWW - World Wide Web

"The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow."

~Bill Gates

Emoticons - The Other Short Form

This short form is made up of key strokes and represent emotions. In many venues these short forms will automatically substitute a little picture for the characters (i.e a happy face or frowning face). Many email programs and messaging systems will do this for instance. Try them out.

To help you remember what they mean turn your head slightly to the left -- the two dots represent eyes.

  1. :-) or :) represents a smile
  2. ;-) or ;) represents winking
  3. :-( or :( represents frowning or being sad
  4. :~( or :'(represents crying
  5. :-P or :P represents sticking out the tongue in a playful manner
  6. :-P~~ or :P~~ represents the raspberry sound
  7. :-O or :O represents being surprised
  8. :-$ or :$ represents embarrassment

Favorite Tool for Social Media

Apple iPod touch 32 GB Black (4th Generation) Store Return + Accessory Kit
Apple iPod touch 32 GB Black (4th Generation) Store Return + Accessory Kit

My husband bought me this for my birthday last year and I love it for keeping on top of my Twitter and Facebook when I am away from the computer. It is also a very snazzy camera and video recorder. And of course there is the music aspect. I was surprised how super easy it was to use right out of the box!


"Nowadays, anyone who cannot speak English and is incapable of using the Internet is regarded as backward."

~ Al-Waleed bin Talal

What did you learn about common internet short forms and sayings today? Do you have a recommendation to add to the list?

Common Sayings Guestbook

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      whirlwind 6 years ago

      Your Internet Short Forms are informative! Thanks for sharing.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      OMG. No wonder kids cant write a coherent sentence they abbreviate everything

      OTOH and FYI this MSG would be longer without abbreviations.