The Meaning of OP in Online Conversation

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Ever wonder what O.P. means in an online conversation? 'OP' has two common meanings in the 21st century. It will sometimes mean 'overpowered' in the world of online gaming. More commonly, OP means 'original poster' in discussion forums.

The original poster is the person who started a discussion thread, and OP is used to refer back to that person as the responses grow.

Example of OP Usage

(Palpytin) Why do all of you keep insisting that climate change doesn't exist? The scientific evidence is overwhelming that there are measurable changes across the globe in the last 30 years.

(Sheldon22) We're not denying that climate change isn't real, we're just responding to the OP. He said 'climate change is affecting everyone', and in truth it is not. Many parts of the USA and Canada have not seen any appreciable change in weather patterns.

(Palpytin) QFT: [According to the consensus project (http://theconsensusproject.com/), climate change is affecting everyone to some degree. Some regions of the world experience more noticeable shifts in climate patterns than others. Climate change says that extreme weather becomes more extreme, and is more noticed in areas that are further inland and away from the stabilizing influences of large bodies of water]

(Kreigrin) Both the OP and Sheldon22 are making fair statements. I think Sheldon is just saying that Colorado and Kansas aren't seeing any appreciable climate changes. 

Another Example of OP Usage

(Krista) PMJI, but I think the OP was actually just sharing an anecdote about traveling to Chile. He wasn't looking for a debate on Chilean politics.

(Jordangerous) LOL, thank you for saying so, Krista. I think we have many trolls here.

(Krista) Yeah. I think he scared the OP away though, and that's not good for the forum.

Another Example of OP Usage

(Baerli) To the OP: I think you're absolutely right about the tsunami hitting the ship. Ignore what everyone else has said, they're just being troll idiots.

(Gbits) Thank you, Baerli. I know the video isn't very clear.

(Baerli) ^ Haters gonna hate. Just ignore the trolls!

Expressions Related to OP:

  • TTT / Bump (To the Top, an expression to promote an aging post by pushing it to the beginning of the discussion thread.)
  • QFT (Quoted for Truth, a type of forensic stamp or expression of support for an argument)
  • Props (Proper Respect and Acknowledgement, an expression of support)

How to Capitalize and Punctuate Web and Texting Abbreviations: 

Capitalization is a non-concern when using text message abbreviations and chat jargon. You are welcome use all uppercase (e.g. ROFL) or all lowercase (e.g. rofl), and the meaning is identical. Avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase, though, as that means shouting in online speak.

Proper punctuation is similarly a non-concern with most text message abbreviations. For example, the abbreviation for 'Too Long, Didn't Read' can be abbreviated as TL;DR or as TLDR. Both are acceptable format, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods (dots) between your jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L., and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L.

Recommended Etiquette for Using Web and Texting Jargon 

Knowing when to use jargon in your messaging is about knowing who your audience is, knowing if the context is informal or professional, and then using good judgment. If you know the people well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon. On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, then it is a good idea to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport.

If the messaging is in a professional context with someone at work, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, then avoid abbreviations altogether.

Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy. It is much easier to err on the side of being too professional and then relax your communications over time than doing the inverse.