Senior Voice America - Tampa Bay -

Internet lingo is no "LOL" matter


Ok, ok. Some linguists actually argue that texting is a language, a let-your-fingers-do-the-talking kind of communication. What?! I look at some text messages and feel as if I am deciphering some weird cryptic code. Who has time for this? I say, just spell things out already! Unfortunately, text symbols and acronyms are here to stay, and I recently tried teaching myself a few to make interpretation a bit speedier.

I mean, I already knew a few abbreviations like TLC and XOXO and TGIF, but who would ever guess that : ) means "smiling without a nose"? If I didn't have a nose, I don't think I would be smiling, period!

I thought H2Cus was a swear word, or something akin to the Swine Flu (H1N1), but it actually means "Hope to see you soon." CYA means, "See Ya" or, in some cases, "Cover you're a--:. Now THAT interpretation might cause someone to smile without a nose! : )

Thank goodness, there's the traditional AKA (also known as) and FYI (for your information), but it seems some abbreviations have alternative interpretations, and I swear they secretly mock us old folk. For example, BTW can mean "By the way", or, for us, "Bring the wheelchair." I wonder if we could cry "age discrimination" over the fact that FWIW stands for "For What It's Worth" or, again, the Senior slight, "Forgot Where I Was." LOL also bears a prejudicial tone; it can mean "Laugh Out Loud" or "Living On Lipitor."

To me, IMHO looks like something to do with healthcare plans, but it stands for "In My Humble Opinion". Likewise, NRN could be an acronym for a new type of nurse, but it really stands for "No Reply Necessary".

I was stumped by TIA. Kept thinking, "Tampa International Airport." Wrong. It stands for "Thanks In Advance", thank you. WFM could be a radio station, but, no, it means "Works For Me."

Some acronyms have ruined the literary flair of words. I much rather say, "Blah, Blah, Blah" than "B3." THAT could stand for "Boring. Boring. Boring", right? I don't want HAK in place of "Hugs And Kisses." And, goodness, "SLAP" sounds abusive, but it is one of my favorite expressions: "Sounds Like A Plan."

I find it rather humorous that BF can mean "boyfriend" OR "brain fart." Perhaps it's hard to distinguish one from another in real life. : ) Also, who would imagine that IANAL means "I Am Not A Lawyer." To me, it sounds like the writer is admitting to being anal. JKLM sounds like some small child who is confused while reciting the alphabet, but it means "Just Let Me Know."

Believe me, I think it is easier to remember how to spell "Unbelievable" than to text UNBLEFBLE. Same for ALIWansU ("All I Want Is You") and 2bctne ("To be continued"). It would take me longer to decode "ICYMI" than to just spell "In case you missed it," but that's just me. I mean, SRSLY ("Seriously"). And how about "N-A-Y-L"? It means "In Awhile." Uh, huh. So they call this "language." This mumbo-jumbo is considered "communication." All I can say is, T2UL! (Sorry, you'll have to Google it if you don't know what it means).

Jean Mlincek is a freelance writer who resides in St. Petersburg, FL. Email


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