Advice from 18: Let's talk text lingo

Gabrielle Martinez, Staff Intern

Abbreviations: a long word that literally means shortened words.

Since the dawn of the internet, fingers across the globe have typed shortened phrases and sentences as fast as they possibly could before the cute cat Youtube video ended. It's easy and quick, but it can also be confusing to even the most trained internet professional.

You may know the classic text abbreviations by "internet slang," "SMS language," or "textspeak." You may also be above the age of forty.

So, where did these even come from? Well, texting was really hard on the tiny keypads of bedazzled Motorola flip phones, so cutting out the multiple key presses and small character count was a necessity.

There, internet abbreviations were born and are still being used to this day.

Since those early years, however, there has been a lot of new lingoes created. So what do they mean?

One of the most recognizable is "LOL," or "laughing out loud." Now, there are a lot of iterations of this humorous expression, both explicit and not, that similarly signifies one of the two things: "This is really funny!" or "I'm adding this at the end of my message because, otherwise, it'd sound really mean."

Another discernible acronym is "OMG," or "oh my god/gosh." This can be used in either situations of shock or in admiration. "OMG" specifically, is most handy when commenting on Facebook videos of children singing on America's Got Talent or those guys who build homes out of mud and clay.

"NVM," or "nevermind," is good at representing a loss of concern, especially after deep explanation. Typically, this is recognizable after sending a husband or boyfriend a long text message about an important subject matter in your lives and receiving a one-line response like "what's for dinner?"

A newer acronym, "IYKYK," is currently sweeping the internet and terrifying the unfamiliar in its path. This aggressive abbreviation actually means "if you know, you know." And quite frankly, it means what it says and, usually, you don't know.

Another contemporary phrase is "RT," or "retweet." Despite being specific to Twitter, this acronym is sometimes used "IRL," or "in real life." "RT" may be used for situations or feelings you find relatable, such as a toddler crying or a trash can on fire.

Additionally, there are the two W's: "WYD" and "WBU." "WYD" asks "what're you doing?" while "WBU" begs the question "what about you?" As mortal enemies, they can both be used against each other, but never together.

Then there are the moody teenagers: "IDC," or "I don’t care," and "IDK," or "I don’t know." Both of these expressions can be evidently used in a sassy way to signify passive aggressiveness. Or, you could just not know or care.

Finally, there are the conversation closers.

"BRB," or "be right back," is a popular phrase to throw around because you don't actually ever come back. Typically this is unintentional as you get carried away with another task and effectively prank the person you were earlier conversing with.

If you are actually leaving and knowingly so, "GTG" means "got to go." This is useful in ending any conversation by making it seem like you are busy, even if you aren't. You just have to make sure you don't post anything leisurely in the meantime.

Lastly, there is "GG," or "good game." And no, this isn't typically said at the end of a baseball or football game but is instead said at the end of a Fortnite duos match. If you don't know what Fortnite is, then that's another topic for another day.

So if you were lost this entire time, "SNS" (sorry not sorry). My prescription is for you to try utilizing these in your everyday lives, especially around your children or grandchildren!

P.S. They’ll probably say "SMH" and that means "shaking my head," not "silly monkey hats."