Have you ever found yourself lost in a conversation online after seeing a combination of letters you simply couldn't define? Test your lingo knowledge with our handy quiz and see if you can guess the correct acronym to use in any given situation!
SMH, or "Shaking My Head," is meant as a text representation of that physical act, which is a widely used stand-in when no words can be found that aptly fit.
MYOB, or "Mind Your Own Business," can often be used to let an unwelcome commentator know you aren't asking for their input at this time.
POV, or "Point of View," is used to represent a personal opinion or argument on a given topic. It's just like, uh, their opinion, man.
OIC, or "Oh, I see," is commonly used to let someone know their last post or comment was enough to convince you.
IRL, or "In Real Life," is used to describe events taking place in the real world. It is commonly used as part of an explanation of how something being discussed may not be possible or likely to occur in the real world.
IKR - "I Know, Right?" - is commonly used to reflect that you agree and support a previous statement and want others to know of your support.
IMO, or "In My Opinion," can serve to let others know you are just offering your own thoughts, and that they are not given as gospel.
FTFY, or "Fixed That For You," is used when correcting another post, whether to legitimately correct incorrect information or as a humorous change to a post to express sarcasm or a dissenting opinion.
TBH, or "To Be Honest," is used when you're about to voice a dissenting opinion, whether it's to help deflate a situation or to show someone that they may not have considered all possibilities.
IANAL, or "I Am Not A Lawyer," is typically used when an individual has first-hand experience with a potential legal case and is able to give advice. However, the writer knows their advice may not be applicable, as it is a personal anecdote that my not be legally sound.
SOP, or "Standard Operating Procedure," is used when describing the set method, or the exact rules, for how to do a task. This is commonly used when asking how to do something new, or asking a more experienced commenter if they have any unique twists for how they do something. "What's the SOP for how to put these away?"
SFLR, or "Sorry For Late Reply," can be used when you are responding to a message after a large chunk of time has passed, whether intentionally or by accident. This is perfect for expressing regret about missing a message and is a quick way to tell people you care.
AWA, or "As Well As," is used to pair two items together for easy reference.
IIRC, or "If I Recall Correctly," serves to let others know that the statement being given is straight from memory and is subject to the risks present with recall. Try not to let nostalgia cloud your memory!
OT, or "Off Topic," is used when what you are about to say is not directly related to the discussion at hand. Most often, this occurs when a given discussion has caused you to think of a relevant question about a partial piece of the discussion, but not the whole thing. "OT, how good are you at digging holes?"
WYSIWYG, or "What You See Is What You Get," is used almost exclusively when selling an item. It's meant to represent that the item is being sold as-is, and that any question about the item could be answered in the picture presented. "Pieces may be missing, WYSIWYG."
LTNS, or "Long Time No See," is a quick way to let another chat member know you have noticed them, and more importantly noticed their absence prior to talking to them. "Bob, it's been weeks! LTNS!"
DM, or "Direct Message," means to write someone in private instead of putting the message in the chatroom for all to see. This is typically used as to share information you may not want to be seen in public. "I'd be happy to share this with you, DM me for it."
NSFW, or "Not Safe For Work," is an acronym used to mark content as something not appropriate for all audiences.
NRN, or "No Response Needed," serves as a closing statement on a message to let those reading it know that you won't be around for - or don't want to see - any potential replies. "We will be meeting Friday at 6. NRN about availability."
ELI5, or "Explain Like I'm Five," is used to request a simple explanation of a complex topic. It's a tongue-in-cheek way of asking for someone to explain the topic in its simplest terms. "ELI5: How do magnets work?"
HMU, or "Hit Me Up," is most commonly used at the end of an open request or invitation to let others know anyone is free to get ahold of you later, if they happen to be headed the same way you are. "I'm going to be at the game, anyone else coming should HMU."
LTRFTP, or "Long Time Reader, First Time Poster," is a quick way to let everyone else know that, while you may have been reading the chat a long time, this is the first time you've felt the need (or courage) to post. This can also help to ward off anyone who may want to nitpick about how you chose to post your thoughts.
TIL, or "Today I Learned," is used as a way to show you have learned something from a post or comment, and can serve as a complete message to show you understand and accept what they've said. It's also a neat way to convey uncommon facts.
YMMD, or "You Made My Day," is a simple way to let another person know that they've said or done something that helped to brighten your day. Typically, this is used as a quick acknowledgment after asking for advice and having another person come through. "All I had to do was reboot it? YMMD!" This acronym could also follow a compliment.
GTR, or "GetTing Ready," is a quick way to tell everyone that you are prepping to do something. People shouldn't expect another message from you until you're ready.
FWIW, or "For What It's Worth," is used when adding a personal fact or opinion to another person's content, whether to assist with the point being made or to offer a dissenting view. "FWIW, it isn't worth doing that unless you can make time every day to see it through."
DQM, or "Don't Quote Me," is used when offering an opinion or advice believed to be factual, but without the supporting information to prove it as so. "DMQ, but I think it's worth about $3.50."
TLA, or "Three Letter Acronym," is an acronym used to describe other acronyms. It's coined as a rather sarcastic term, at times when too many acronyms may be used. Commonly, this occurs in an office environment when making fun of a document too heavily laden with buzzwords.
TCO, or "Taken Care Of," is used commonly when letting someone else know that you completed a task or errand that had previously been mentioned. It can be used by almost anyone, in many situations. "Planning for the trip? TCO"
FYI, or "For Your Information," is used when you are trying to give helpful advice or a useful tip to a person or group that hasn't been discussed before. "FYI, if you do it the way you've been planning, it's likely to fail."
FOAF, or "Friend of a Friend," can be used when trying to introduce friends to friends, or when asking about bringing someone to an event that may be lesser known. "I may have a fourth for our team who can play, but it's a FOAF."
TPTB, or "The Powers That Be," refers to anyone, or any group, that can and will prevent you from doing something. It's typically used in an office environment, or when you are hopeful for an event to occur. "If TPTB let me, I'll be able to make it out Friday afternoon for the game."
LMK, or "Let Me Know," is used most when asking a person or a group to get a hold of you after a given time or event has happened. Basically, it is a way to ask someone to write you back later with the answer to a question.
GOAT, or "Greatest Of All Time," is commonly used to refer to an individual or group who may be the best that ever was, for a given genre. It's used commonly to refer to a musician, an athlete or an unbeatable team.