"Talking the Talk": A Quick Introduction to Knowing What People Are Saying to Each Other in Cyberspace

Sure, you might be able to "walk the walk" with your fancy new cell phone, pager or PDA, but can you "Talk the (cyber) talk"?

If you are new to "being wired", you may feel like you are entering another world when you go online, and in a very real way you are.

There now exists a very new and different way of communciating online. In some ways, it seems like a new language.

What follows is an ever-growing list of letters, numbers and symbols (emoticons) that are used by the online world communicate with each other.
If you are part of the "Always On" generation you will likely know these well. If you are new this world, read on!

A Few Acronyms to Start You Off:

"IM-ing": Using Internet Messenging

SMS: The Short Message Service (SMS) is the ability to send and receive text messages to and from mobile telephones. The text can comprise of words or numbers or an alphanumeric combination. SMS was created when it was incorporated into the Global System for Mobiles (GSM) digital mobile phone standard.
A single short message can be up to 160 characters of text in length using default GSM alphabet coding, and 70 characters when UCS2 international character coding is used.

EMS: -Enhanced Messaging Service (text messaging with more bells and whistles)

MMS -Multimedia Messaging Service, (MMS) is the ability to send messages comprising a combination of text, sounds, images and video to MMS capable handsets.

PDAs: PDAs stand for Personal Digital Assistants. You might recognize these better if we used names like Palm Pilot, RIM Blackberry, Handspring Visor / Treo, Sony Clie, iPaq, Pocket PC etc. Most of these are not only personal information organizers, they can now connect to the Internet, receive and send e-mail and browse the World Wide Web.

SPOT -Smart Personal Object Technology. It uses FM radio networks to deliver a slow but steady stream of data to devices like wristwatches and fridge magnets, sending information such as sports scores, weather reports and stock quotes, or even short text messages. (Coming to your wristwatch very soon. Dick Tracy move over!)


Online Acronyms / Emoticons / For More Information:

Online Acronyms

2L8 -Too late
2U2 -To you too
4GM -Forgive me
AAMOF -As a matter of fact
AAYF -As always, your friend
AFAIK -As far as I know
AFK -Away from keyboard
AKA -Also known as
ASAP -As soon as possible
ASL Age, sex, location?
ASLP -Age, sex, location, picture?
ATM -At the moment
ATYS -Anything you say
AWA -As well as
B4 -Before
B4N -Bye for now
BAC -Back at computer
BBIAB -Be back in a bit
BBL -Be back later
BBS -Be back soon
BCNU -Be seein' you
BD -Big deal
BFD -Big freakin' deal
BF -Boyfriend
BFN -Bye for now
BC -Be cool
B/C -Because
BCNU -Be seein' you
BIL -Brother in law
BME -Based on my experience
BOT -Back on topic
BRH -Be right here
BRB -Be right back
BTDT -Been there, done that
BTW -By the way
BYTM -Better you than me
CMIIW -Correct me if I'm wrong
CU -See you
CUL -Catch you later
CUS -See you soon
CUL8R -See you later
CWOT -Complete waste of time
CYA -See ya
DIIK -Darned if I know
DIY -Do it yourself
EAK -Eating at keyboard
EG -Evil grin
EOD -End of discussion
EOL -End of lecture
EOR -End of rant
F -Female
F2F -Face to face
FCOL -For crying out loud
FIL -Father in law
FITB -Fill in the blanks
FNB -Football and beer
FOCL -Falling off the chair laughing
FOFL -Falling on the floor laughing
FWIW -For what it's worth
FYA -For your amusement
FYI -For your information
G -Grin
G2G -Gotta go
GA -Good afternoon / Go ahead
GAL -Get a life
GAS -Greetings and salutations
GBH -Great Big Hug
GE -Good evening
GF -Girlfriend
GFN -Gone for now
GG -Good game
GI -Good idea
GIWISI -Gee, I wish I said it
GJ -Good job
GL -Good luck
GM -Good morning / Good move/match
GMTA -Great minds think alike
GN -Good night
GR8 -Great
H -Hug
HB -Hug back
H&K -Hugs and Kisses
HAGD -Have a good day
HCIT -How cool is that
HF -Have fun
HH -Ha-ha
HHSF -Ha-ha, so funny
HHVF -Ha-ha, very funny
HOAS -Hold on a second
IAC -In any case
IAG -It's all good
IAGW -In a good way
IC -I see / In character
IDGI -I don't get it
IDNDT -I did not do that
IIRC -If I remember correctly
IK -I know
IKWUM -I know what you mean
IMAO -In my arrogant opinion
IME -In my experience.
IMHO -In my humble opinion
IMNSHO -In my not so humble opinion
INRS -It's not rocket science
IOW -In other words
IRL -In real life
IRSTBO -It really sucks the big one
IS -I'm sorry
ISWYM -I see what you mean
JMHO -Just my humble opinion
JTLYK -Just to let you know
J/K -Just kidding
J/P -Just playing
KIR -Keepin' it real
KIT -Keep in touch
KWIM -Know what I mean?
L8R -Later
LMK -Let me know
LTR -Long term relationship
LYK -Let you know
LMAO -Laughing my a•• off
LMBO -Laughing my butt off
LOL -Laugh out loud
LTNS -Long time no see
LUM -Love you man
M -Male
ME2 -Me too
MIL -Mother in law
MMA -Meet me at ...
MMAMP -Meet me at my place
MYOB -Mind your own business
N -In
NBD -No big deal
N2M -Not too much
N/C -Not cool
NE1 -Anyone
NM -Nevermind, Not much
NMH -Not much here
NMJC -Nothing much, just chillin'
NNITO -Not necessarily in that order
NO1 -No one
NOTTOMH -Not off the top of my head
NOYB -None of your business
NP -No problem
NRN -No reply necessary
NW -No way
OIC -Oh, I see
OMG -Oh my gosh
OOC -Out of character
OT -Off topic / Other topic
PLZ -Please
PPL People
POS -Parent over shoulder
QT -Cutie
RESQ -Rescue
RFC -Request for comment
RHIP -Rank hath its privileges
ROF -Rolling on the floor
ROTFL -Rolling on the floor laughing
RTFM -Read the flippin' manual
S2R -Send to receive
SCNR -Sorry, could not resist
SIL -Sister in law
SLY -Still love you
SWALK -Sweet, with all love, kisses
SWAK -Sealed with a kiss
SYSOP -System Operator
TCO -Taken care of
TOH -The other half
THX -Thanks
TNX -Thanks
TIA -Thanks in advance
TMA -Take my advice
TMI -Too much information
TTFN -Ta ta for now
TTYL -Talk to you later
TY -Thank you
TYVM -Thank you very much
U2 -You too
UR -Your
UR -You are ...
VBG -Very big grin
W2F -Way too funny
W8 -Wait
W8AM -Wait a minute
WB -Welcome back OR Write back
WE -Whatever
WNDITWB -We never did it this way before
WRT -With Regard To
WTF -What the freak?
WTG -Way to go!
XOXOXO -Hugs and kisses
Y -Why?
YMMV -Your mileage may vary
YRG -You are good!
YW -You're welcome
>U! -Screw you!
? -Huh?
?4U -Question for you

Emoticons (Emoticons are facial expressions made by a certain series of keystrokes. Most often producing an image of a face sideways.):

!-( Black eye
!-) Proud of black eye
#-) Wiped out, partied all night
#:-o Shocked
$-) Won the lottery, or money on the brain
%(|:-)   Propeller-head
%*} Inebriated
%+{ Got beat up
%-( Confused
%-) Dazed or silly
%-6 Brain-dead
%-\ Hung over
%-{ Ironic
%-| Worked all night
%-} Humorous or ironic
%\ Hangover
>>:-<< Furious
>- Female
>-> Winking devil
>-< Furious
>-) Devilish wink
>:) Little devil
>:-> Very mischievous devil
>:-< Angry
>:-< Mad
>:-( Annoyed
>:-) Mischievous devil
>=^ P Yuck
<:> Devilish expression
<:-> Devilish expression
<:-( Dunce
<:-) Innocently asking dumb question
<:-| Dunce
<:| Dunce
( 8(|) Homer
( <> .. <> ) alienated
(( )):** Hugs and kisses
((())) Lots of hugging
(initials or a name can be put in the middle of the one being hugged)
() Hugging
(-: Left-handed smile, or smiley from the southern hemisphere
(:& Angry
(:- Unsmiley
(:-& Angry
(:-( Unsmiley
(:-) Smiley variation
(:-* Kiss
(:-\ Very sad
(::()::) Bandaid, meaning comfort
(:| Egghead
* Kiss
*<:-) Santa Claus
*<|:-) Santa Claus, or a clown
*-) Shot to death
+<:-) Religious leader
+<:-| Monk or nun
+<||-) Knight
+:-) Priest
+O:-) The Pope
-) Tongue in cheek
-= Snuffed candle to end a flame message
-=#:-) Wizard
/\/\/\ Laughter
0:-) Angel
12x@>--->--- A dozen roses
2B|^2B To be or not to be
5:-) Elvis
7:) Ronald Reagan
7:^) Ronald Reagan
8 Infinity
8 :-) Wizard
8) Wide-eyed, or wearing glasses
8-# Death
8-) Wide-eyed, or wearing glasses
8-o Shocked
8-O Astonished
8-P Yuck!
8-[ Frayed nerves; overwrought
8-] Wow!
8-| Wide-eyed surprise
: ( Sad
: ) Smile
: [ Bored, sad
: | Bored, sad
:( ) Loudmouth, talks all the time; or shouting
:* Kiss
:*) Clowning
:**: Returning kiss
:+( Got punched in the nose
:,( Crying
:- Male
:-# My lips are sealed; or someone wearing braces
:-& Tongue-tied
:-> Smile of happiness or sarcasm
:->< Puckered up to kiss
:-< Very sad
:-( Frown
:-) Classic smiley
:-* Kiss
:-, Smirk
:-/ Wry face
:-6 Exhausted
:-9 Licking lips
:-? Licking lips, or tongue in cheek
:-@ Screaming
:-C Astonished
:-c Very unhappy
:-D Laughing
:-d~ Heavy smoker
:-e Disappointed
:-f Sticking out tongue
:-I Pondering, or impartial
:-i Wry smile or half-smile
:-J Tongue in cheek
:-j One-sided smile
:-k Puzzlement
:-l One-sided smile
:-M Speak no evil
:-O Open-mouthed, surprised
:-o Surprised look, or yawn


:-p Sticking tongue out
:-p~ Heavy smoker
:-Q Tongue hanging out in disgust, or a smoker
:-Q~ Smoking
:-r Sticking tongue out
:-s What?!
:-t Unsmiley
:-V Shouting
:-X My lips are sealed; or a kiss
:-x Kiss, or My lips are sealed
:-Y Aside comment
:-[ Unsmiling blockhead; also criticism
:-\'| Sniffles
:-] Smiling blockhead; also sarcasm
:-{) Smile with moustache
:-{)} Smile with moustache and beard
:-{} Blowing a kiss
:-| Indifferent, bored or disgusted
:-| :-| Deja vu
:-|| Very angry
:-} Mischievous smile
:-~) A cold
:-~| A cold
:.( Crying
:/) Not funny
:/i No smoking
:> What?
:@ What?
:C Astonished
:e Disappointed
:P Sticking out tongue
:X Hear no evil
:x Kiss
:\' Crying
:\'( Crying
:\'-( Crying
:\'-) Tears of happiness
:^D Happy, approving
:`-( Shedding a tear
:{ Having a hard time
:~) A cold
:~-( Crying
:~/ Confused
; ) Wink
; P Wink with a raspberry
;( Crying
;-( Angry, or got a black eye
;-) Winkey
;-D Winking and laughing
= O Surprised
= X My lips are sealed
=):-)= Abraham Lincoln
=:-) Punk, or hosehead
=====:} Snake
=^* Kisses
=^D Big grin
?( Black eye
?-( Black eye
@>--->--- A long-stemmed rose
@== Atomic bomb
@}->-- Rose
B:-) Sunglasses on head
d :-o Hats off to you!
IOHO In Our Humble Opinion
M-) See no evil
M-), :X, :-M See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
M:-) A salute
O 8-) Starry-eyed angel
O :-) Angel
O+ Female
O-> Male
O8-) Starry-eyed angel
O:-) Angel
P* French kiss
Q:-) College graduate
X-( Just died
[:-) Wearing a Walkman
[:-] Square head
[:-| Frankenstein
[:] Robot
[:| Frankenstein
[:|] Robot
[[ ]] Hug Insert a name in the brackets of the one who is being hugged, as: [[Marcia]]
[] Hug
\') Winky
\'-) Winky
\_/ Empty glass
\~/ Full glass
]:-> Devil
]:-) Happy devil
][ Back to back
^ ^ ^ Giggles
^5 High five
`:-) Raised eyebrow
{{ }} Hug; the one whose name is in the brackets is being hugged Example: {{MJ}}
{} No comment
|( Sleepy (on late night email message)
|-<> Puckered up for a kiss
|-( Sleepy, struggling to stay awake, or sleeping badly
|-D Big laugh
|-O Yawn
|-{ Good grief!
|-| Asleep
|I Asleep
|^o Snoring
}-) Wry smile
}: [ Angry, frustrated
}{ Face to face
~ :-( Steaming mad
~:-( Flame message
~:-\ Elvis
~:o Baby
~:\ Elvis
~= Lit candle, indicating a flame (inflammatory message)
~== Begins a flame (inflammatory message)
~~:-( Especially hot flame message
~~:[ Net flame
~~~~8} Snake
~~~~~8} Snake


For More Information: