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Primer on Internet shorthand

©Washington Post

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 10, 2000

Internet shorthand packed with meaning
Across the country every night, teens are chatting online with friends and Net acquaintances using a lingo all their own.

A guide to 21st century jargon
For linguistic purists, the world at the dawn of the 21st century is, well, a mess. Management consultants, marketing experts, lawyers and, especially in recent years, techno-geeks have cluttered American English with shorthand indecipherable to all but insiders.

Here's a short glossary of chatspeak:

  • AYT -- Are you there?
  • YIAH -- Yes, I am here.
  • LTNS -- Long time no see.
  • DIKU -- Do I know you?
  • DTS -- Don't think so.
  • WAYF -- Where are you from?
  • A/S/L -- Request for fellow chatter's age, sex, location.
  • AFAIK -- As far as I know.
  • BRB -- Be right back.
  • BTDT -- Been there, done that.
  • B/F -- Boyfriend.
  • G/F -- Girlfriend.
  • GFETE -- Grinning from ear to ear.
  • GFUG -- Good for you, girl.
  • INAL -- I'm not a lawyer.
  • IMHO -- In my humble opinion.
  • ICCL -- I couldn't care less.
  • OMG -- Oh my God, gosh.
  • UGTBK -- You've got to be kidding.
  • YOOC -- You're out of control.
  • YYSSW -- Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, whatever.
  • GTG, G2G, GG -- Got to go.
  • TTFN -- Ta ta for now.
  • CYA -- See ya.
  • POOF -- Gone, left the chat room.

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