e-mail jargon - translation needed

Nov 11th, 2000, 06:49 PM
recovering technophobe
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e-mail jargon - translation needed

A lot of the messages here seem to be written in a sort of "code" - mysterious acronyms, slang, and strange puctuation. I'm beginning to guess what these things mean, but could someone give the definitive explanations of LOL, IMHO, "flame" and and other combinations of little punctuation marks, and * before and after a word.

Here's what I guess: LOL is NOT a little old lady? * before and after indicates italics or underlining which can't be typed into the Fodors site? "Flame" means criticize or embarrass? What else?

But besides deciphering the code, what I'd really like to know is why so many people are using these acronyms and symbols instead of just saying the full words.
Nov 11th, 2000, 07:17 PM
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LOL - technically means laughing out loud, but people use it to indicate a joke or a smile.

IMHO - in my humble opinion. Used before a rather UNhumble opinion.

flame - rude remarks (not so sure about this one)
-smiley face, sad face, tongue-poking face (I use it for tongue-in-cheek as well). Generally called emoticons. Create them by using a colon and some other vaguely mouth-shaped letter or symbol. Tilt head to left hand side to read.

*word* -can be used for sarcasm (there was such a *lovely* smell in the metro), emphasis (it's not *my* fault!), or showing emotions (*grin so hard my pants fall off*). Usually _word_ indicates an underlining.

I think acronyms are used for the sake of brevity, and also to confuse beginners. Emoticons are a short way of indicating feelings rather than typing "THIS IS A JOKE OK!" or whatever. They make typed messages and things more interesting and more expressive.

"IMHO, all men are bastards! lol" means
"in my not-so-humble opinion, all men are bastards! haha. but not really, I'm kidding. this is a joke, so please treat it as such. thankyou."

Nov 11th, 2000, 07:47 PM
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Acronyms are supposedly more *interesting* than words? It's too bad some people don't enjoy language any more
Not to _flame_ anyone, but I don't find all these code words and symbols a bit *expressive*.
Did I get this right? LOL :b
Nov 11th, 2000, 07:50 PM
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IMHO real words are far more interesting and expressive. ! ! !
Nov 11th, 2000, 10:41 PM
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Like I said, it's for brevity. In chats, you have to type fast and it's faster to type LOL than to type "I'm laughing."

I didn't say that acronyms are more itneresting than words. I said emoticons make typed messages more interesting. Re-read my post and get it right.

By the way, you're welcome. Any time.


Nov 12th, 2000, 02:15 AM
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I think the initials stem from the early days of the internet, and specifically related to e-mail, where you typed your messsges offline and when everything was much slower. If you could cut down time on line that was a big deal, so a whole new set of acronyms was created for speed.

The emoticons are because it can be so hard to get tone into a written message that offence can be given unintentionally.
Nov 12th, 2000, 03:06 AM
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Dear Cos,

Can't you tell that "Proud" was just joking? I enjoyed his question, your answer, and his P in ) response (translation: "tongue in cheek").

Nov 12th, 2000, 04:56 AM
Mr. Dictionary
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Some more of the latest:

. . Therefore! (therefore, in a big way, DUH!)

FIM foot in mouth
FIMA foot in mouth again

(^) tweet, suggest shyly, speak softly

PBN2M Please be nice to me.

_~~_ sleep, going to bed now

' '
0 0 shocked

OO starry eyed, naive

>>OO Be very careful, look first where
you're going

Nov 12th, 2000, 06:50 AM
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Also the:
BRB (Be Right Back -- used when zepher windograms were going around or direct links / chat rooms)

There were a bunch of ways to express yourself that this medium afforded. At the time, things would just develop to suit the need. When there was no real web to speak of ( I can remember talking on the computers to folks at UCLA because they were the only other people you could connect to at that time of the day in the summer) you just sort of made things up as you went along.

If you don't know, ask (as you have). Someone might tell you to RTFM (Read The F***ing Manual) if there were still manuals published along with chat areas, but don't take it too personally, I've been directed to the manual on more than one occasion ;>

Nov 12th, 2000, 07:47 AM
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As indicated, these evolved from a time when space -- bytes and bits -- was precious and affected the speed of communication. A number became popular in the early days of on-line "real time" chatting, when people were not writing for style so much as for immediate expression.

I mourn writing for style, on paper, with a stamp, but there's no chance I can keep my computer-wonk's attention if I write too much or too slowly on line. So I treat it as a challenge -- creating new symbols and pictograms. But here are some more common ones.

{u} is a hug for you.
ROFL - Rolling on floor laughing
MDH - My dear husband (I never see MDW)
K - Okay
;-) wink
}-( seriously displeased frown
gooh! Get out of here! (disbelief)
Nov 12th, 2000, 09:47 AM
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LOL - oftem means Lots of Luck
IMO - In my opinion
IMOL - In my humble opinion
Nov 12th, 2000, 02:05 PM
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Dear Cosrealwords,
I see you speak Cockney backslang !
Nov 12th, 2000, 04:26 PM
old fogey
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Since the internet is not longer slow, and space allowances are no longer tiny, why is anyone still using these cryptic symbols that require time and thought to decipher, which interferes with the flow of communication. Aren't there plenty of verbal ways to communicate the subtleties of humor, sarcasm, affection, etc? Just wondering. it seems like a lot of trouble in order to achieve inferier communication.
Nov 12th, 2000, 11:43 PM
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Apologies for my rudeness, I have a hair-trigger temper sometimes.

Will go and do penance now (or something).
Nov 22nd, 2000, 03:15 AM
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Nov 22nd, 2000, 04:53 AM
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oldfogey- also most apps have cut & paste!
Slang is used not to improve communication but as a badge.In this case it says "I am not a rookie trust me".
Nov 22nd, 2000, 09:29 AM
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Nov 22nd, 2000, 09:35 AM
oh my
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Hey haveaniceday...too much time on your hands don't you think???
School out until Monday?
Nov 22nd, 2000, 10:33 AM
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Dear xxx -- this is driving me crazy -- please provide translation for HTGD2U. Hate to get down to you? Have to go, donuts to you?
Nov 22nd, 2000, 11:18 AM
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my guess is:
Happy ThanksGiving Day 2 U....?

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