February 12, 2011



hen did our society become so acronym-laden? I remember getting teased when I sold high-end home audio because my sales friends and I talked in cryptic acronymns, which were actually model numbers. But when did this become the standard way of communicating?

In my business world we frequently refer to the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations), which I have often thought should stand for Frequent Acronymn Requirement in any communication regarding our federal government. But more often all the time I have to try to figure out what the most recent acronym sent my way means.

For example, yesterday I worked on a young friend’s photo in Photoshop and posted it to Facebook. She responded with, “FTW, Unca Rich.” In the late 80s, when I was around her age, that acronym meant “F**k the World.” I was quite certain that was not what she intended to say to me. So after quite some time trying to figure out this new acronym, I finally looked it up online where I found out that it means “For the Win,” an entirely nicer definition than the one I had thought about at first.

Knowing that my readers are as old and out of touch as I am (or at least hoping I’m not the only one), I present here a list of the acronyms you might trip over when emailing, chatting, texting, or listening to a speech POTUS is reading from TOTUS (the President of the United States is reading from the Teleprompter of the United States—not making this up; those are real acronyms in current use).

Communication devices when talking to youngsters

BRB Be Right Back
BIO Going to the bathroom (bio break)
AFK Away from the keyboard
BTW By the way
KK Okay
TTYL Talk to you later
BFN By for now
TTFN Ta-ta for now
BFF Best friends forever
DH Darling husband
CYA See ya (or Cover your a*s)
CUL8R See you later
IMHO In my humble opinion
IMNSHO In my not-so-humble opinion
FMV Fair market value
LOL Laughing out loud
ROFL Rolling on the floor laughing
ROFLMAO Rolling on the floor laughing my a*s off
RTM Read the manual
THX Thanks
TY Thank you
NP No problem (you’re welcome)
PLZ Please
W/E Whatever (I don’t care)
ASL Age, sex, location?
IRL In real life
.02 My two cents worth
<g> Grin

Recognizing that I could continue typing in this list for the next month, I’m going to leave it there. I just got a text message from a young friend and now I have more aconyms to interpret.


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