Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Texting & Messaging 184 184 people found this article helpful Urban Slang Dictionary: Online Acronyms, Phrases and Idioms The evolution of language in relation to internet culture By Elise Moreau Freelance Contributor Elise Moreau is a writer that has covered social media, texting, messaging, and streaming for Lifewire. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack and others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Elise Moreau Updated January 28, 2020 Texting & Messaging Email Texting & Messaging Video Calls Tweet Share Email The rise of web-based technologies, online chatting, mobile texting, email and instant messaging have all helped shape the way we communicate. Short-form words, acronyms, phrases, and memes have almost helped contribute to the development of a whole new language that defines Internet culture. Today, this so-called "Internet language" is as popular as ever and virtually second nature in use amongst Internet users. Why Do People Use Internet Slang? Dimitri Otis/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images Unlike writing an A+ English essay on Shakespeare, Internet slang has two common goals, which often overthrow proper spelling and grammar: To express emotion: It's obvious that expressing emotion through written text can be difficult. Internet slang words and acronyms help you tell people that we are happy, sad, amused, angry, confused or surprised. For example, "Wowzers" is a silly term used to convey surprise. The acronym,"LOL," which stands for "laugh out loud," is one of the most common acronyms used on the Internet. Often, users will incorporate textual emoticons like ":)" or ":(" to represent expressive human faces and emotions. GPOY is a sarcastic state of self-attention, "Gratuitous Pictures of Yourself." Playful, if self-aware. To speed up communication: You live in a busy world, and you don't have time much time to waste typing out the message you'd like to send to your friends, family or colleagues. Typing a message usually takes longer than saying it verbally, which is why Internet slang and short-form words are used to get the message in writing as quickly as possible. It's a quick and convenient way to communicate on the web. The Internet Slang Dictionary of Choice: Urban Dictionary There are quite a few sites out there that list popular Internet words and phrases, but there's nothing that quite compares to the Urban Dictionary. The Urban Dictionary is literally an Internet slang dictionary, which can be accessed by anyone online. Urban Dictionary contains over 10.5 million Internet slang definitions. Anybody can suggest and submit a word and definition, which are reviewed by editors to be published on the site. Once a word is published, visitors can view and rate them. If you come across any slang words on the web, you can almost be certain that the definition can be found by searching for it on the Urban Dictionary website. The Most Popular Internet Slang Words and Acronyms The following lists the most well known and widely used Internet slang words. People all over the world use them on social media sites, email and SMS text messaging. (Please note that a few of these popular acronyms include profanity, which have been replaced with more appropriate wording.) ASAP: As Soon As Possible BBIAB: Be Back In A Bit BBL/BBS: Be Back Later/Soon BF: Boyfriend BFF: Best Friends Forever BFFL: Best Friends for Life BRB: Be Right Back CYA: See You DS: Dear Son FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions FB: Facebook FITBLR: Fitbit users who run fitness-related blogs FLBP: Future Lower Back Problems FML: "F-Word" My Life FTFY: Fixed That For You FTW: For the Win FYI: For Your Information G2G: Got to Go GF: Girlfriend GR8: Great GTFO: Get the "F-Word" Out HBIC: Head B**** in Charge HML: Hit My Line, or Hate My Life HRU: How are you? HTH: Hope This Helps IDK: I Don't Know IGHT: Alright IMO/IMHO: In My Opinion/In My Humble Opinion IMY: I miss you. IRL: In Real Life ISTG: I Swear to God JK: Just Kidding JMHO: Just My Humble Opinion KTHX: OK, Thanks L8R: Later LMAO: Laugh My "A-Word" Off LMFAO: Laugh My "F-ing" "A-Word" Off LMK: Let Me Know LOL: Laugh Out Loud MWF: Married White Female/Monday, Wednesday, Friday NM: Nevermind NOOB: Newbie/Newcomer/Amateur NP: No Problem NSFW: Not Safe for Work OOAK: One of a Kind OFC: Of course OMG: Oh My God ORLY: Oh Really? OTOH: On the Other Hand RN: Right Now ROFL: Roll On the Floor Laughing RUH: Are Your Horney SFW: Safe for Work SOML: Story of My Life SOZ: Sorry STFU: Shut the "F-Word" Up TFTI: Thanks for the Invite TIL: Today I Learned TMI: Too Much Information TTFN: Ta-ta for now TTYL: Talk to You Later TWSS: That's What She Said U: You W/: With WB: Welcome Back (also can refer to World Boss) W/O: Without WYD: What You Doing WTH: What the Hell? WTF: What the "F-Word" WYM: What You Mean? WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get Y: Why YMMV: Your Mileage May vary YW: You're Welcome YWA: You're Welcome Anyway Other common Internet abbreviations and symbols include: “I’m @ the store.”“I’m going 2 school.” Taking the Blame for Bad Grammar and Spelling Although short-form wording and acronyms help us get the job done faster and more conveniently, time spent communicating through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and texting on cell phones is being blamed for poor spelling and grammar skills with regards to today’s youth. For example, words like "shawty" (which is an alternative form of "shorty") are spelled more like they sound in casual conversation. While the link between modern-day Internet lingo and deteriorating grammar skills has not been officially proven on a scientific basis, education institutions in Canada and the U.S. are seeing a sharp drop in proper English writing. In an article published by the Globe and Mail, an English professor and associated dean at Simon Fraser University stated: “Punctuation errors are huge, and apostrophe errors. Students seem to have absolutely no idea what an apostrophe is for. None. Absolutely none.” Abbreviations, lowercase words that should be capitalized and neglectful proofreading are other common mistakes that are blamed on social media and SMS texting.