OMG WTF – Decoding 21st Century Communications

Twitter? Check. Texting? Well, duh. Facebook? Oh, yeah. Tumblr? Meh. Triberr? GRRR…

Good Lord, I’m trying to stay current, not only to enjoy myself, but also because I’m concerned if I don’t stay on top of all these new social communications, I’ll get so far behind that I won’t be able to catch up. But man, now acronyms have exploded all over the place, and it’s got me SOBT (stressed out big time).

BHIMBGO (Bloody hell, I must be getting old.)

BITD (back in the day) we thought we were sexy when we’d OMG and LOL. But these days we are just sooo beyond that. These days we log onto Facebook, witness a friend making a fool of himself, and ROFLMAO until someone tells us to GAHOY (get a hold of yourself), BYKT (but you knew that).

Yes, acronyms can be great. They’re not only convenient, but necessary in terms of our data plans and the Twitterverse. But AFAIC (as far as I’m concerned), all these acronyms have a dark side too.

They are irrefutably Dumbing. Us. Down.

How can English teachers penetrate the coma of texting zombies who do nothing but communicate in chunks of capital consonants? YKWIM (you know what I mean)? IMHO (in my humble opinion), English majors are going to become a hot commodity in as little as five years because the world is going to see a dearth of grammatically proficient employees.

AWHFY (Are we having fun yet?) ISH (insert sarcasm here).

BWTM (but wait, there’s more)…

If you wanna become a BAC (bad ass chick) who knows a CRD (Caucasian rhythm disorder) from a CRS (can’t remember shit), go ahead and bookmark this website called NetLingoIt’s one of the most comprehensive lists of chat acronyms and text message shorthand I’ve ever come across. With this handy tool – even if you’re the only AITR (adult in the room) – you’ll never be BSBD&NE (book smart, brain dead & no experience).

But AWTTW (a word to the wise), if you have older kids, it’ll likely teach you FMTYEWTK (far more than you ever wanted to know) about modern teenagers. Instead of remaining in a state of blissful ignorance, you’ll be able to decode your son’s ode to a HPOA (hot piece of ass) MILF (mom I’d like to fuck) and discover your daughter was EWI (emailing while intoxicated) and launched a naughty picture into the ever-livin’ cyber-sphere.

At that point, you’ll be texting your own BFF saying FML (fuck my life), wondering DISTO (did I say that out loud) as you stagger to the nearest mirror looking for the latest eruption of gray hairs.

Be strong, people! Go ahead, do your CRBT (crying real big tears) thing, and then put on your big girl panties. This shit ain’t for the faint of heart.

And just because you want another worthless piece of information to bang your head against, I’ll tell you there’s even an acronym for “too many acronyms” (TMA), as well as acronyms talking about acronyms (eg: TLA = three letter acronym). I can’t possibly make all this up.

FTR (for the record), I have a love-hate thing going on with acronyms, which is kinda FU (fucked up) because big-time acronym usage desensitizes us to swear words. Right? The other day I heard a third grader say, “WTF, man?” (He actually spoke the consonants). So…if I was this kid’s parent, would I wash his mouth out with soap? I mean, even though it was implied, he didn’t actually say “fuck.” Shades of gray…

But I digress.

Anyway, in social media it’s always gonna be #ODTAA (one damn thing after another). (BTW, writer @JanRomes and I started that Twitter hashtag. Feel free to tweet it far and wide!!). None of us will ever be on top of it all (just try doing a spell check on an article like this – FML), but at least NetLingo’s acronym decoding website can help us do our DD (due diligence).

So, my CTA (call to action) isn’t BOHICA (bend over here it comes again), but rather CUWTA (catch up with the acronyms) so you can tell social media to BIO (bring it on).

What do you think of social media communications and/or the use of acronyms?



  1. My brain hurts from reading all the acronyms. #DIO (Damn, I’m old)

  2. OMG! Whew, that was a lot. I once read an entire novel called TTYL (or something like that). The whole thing was in acronyms and it was a really good teen novel. Now, of course I’ve forgotten so much of those things and clearly, after reading your post – things have progressed. Fun! Thanks for the read.

    • Hi Kylie! I’m sure TTYL was rather eye-opening. And yes, things never *not* progress, right? BTW, I LOVE your blog! It’s hilarious!! Thanks so much for visiting! 🙂

  3. I usually like the process of decoding acronyms. But these types of phrases are more like AWAT (a waste of time). My momma tried to train me to insult people so they don’t realize they’ve been insulted until they’ve thought about it.

    • Haha! Alrighty then! I’m thinking about this, and I’m not sure if I’ve been insulted… I guess I’m a product of the current culture. LOL

      Just jerkin’ your chain, Ana. 🙂

  4. Awesome post. I laughed right through it. We live in interesting times. I agee with all your points but I have to say that it’s exciting to teach kids with all the new gizmos. We may not love how they are communicating but they are communicating and learning faster. It looks different and leaves us eating dust and wondering if in the end they are learning what we think they need to learn. Long division and danglung participles anyone?

    • Ha! Well said, Jo-Ann. You definitely have a point about offering kids more opportunities to learn. I just want to make sure my kids are good “face to face” communicators too. I don’t want it to become a lost art. 🙂

  5. Josie Matthews says:

    Hey Youngin’!

    Being Im approaching that mid-century mark in a year, I figured I’d better update you whipper-snappers on the NEW Ac’s…for people my age…

    Had a little trouble the other night, on my way home. DWI. Was LMDO because FWIW but managed to contain myself when I realized LWO. At that point I was ROFLCGU. WAITT? Thats right, So anyway, the party was great, it was a BYOT CBM. That might be why Beatrice was so hard to understand. She’s a good FWB, GHA but I thought the wine was fine! By the time I got home I WTFA when my hubby berated me with the ole FYI in the oven again. But it didnt dampen my mood. Nope, I just gave him the old IMHO and took off for bed.
    Thats my story and Im stickin’ to it.

    DWI – Driving while incontinent.
    LMDO – laughing my dentures out.
    FWIW – forgot where I was.
    LWO – Lawrence Welk’s on.
    ROFLCGU – rolling on the floot and cant get up.
    WAITT – who am I talking to?
    BYOT – bring your own teeth
    CBM – covered by Medicare
    FWB – friend with betablockers
    GHA – got heartburn again
    WTFA – wet the furniture again
    FYI – found your insulin
    IMHO – is my hearing aid on?
    Love Josie…

  6. I do not have a smart phone, nor am I hip. (Just using the word hip should prove that.) When symbols started appearing in my twitter feed, I did have to look them up. The ones that confused me were and <3.
    I am approaching the mid century mark as well, so I will have to memorize Josie's list. You can join AARP at fifty. 🙂

  7. LOL, Misty! Love the blog post! I’m with you all the way on this…trying to keep my head above water with all the social media sites & learning the ever-growing list of acronyms!! (and I love Gayle Cochrane’s comment *see above* — Gayle, I have a ‘dumb phone’ and say words like groovy and marvy! But slowly I am learning the acronyms to try to stay hip, too; but mostly trying not to break a hip…ha ha)

    Thanks for the laughs, Misty & Gayle! You made my day :-))

    • Hi Jan! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one treading water as fast as I can. And I have to say “marvy” is now my favorite word for today! Thanks for visiting Chick Swagger! 🙂

  8. Thanks for this post Misty! Now I’ll be able to understand what my granddaughter is saying on her FB page. Of course, I’ll never let HER know I know. GGU (Grandma Goes Undercover)

  9. I don’t use them and I am not going to start. To me, it’s just another way for this generation to be lazy. Or maybe that’s just my children that are. Grrrrrrr, which stands for Grrrrrr.

    • Lazy, yes. But when your data plan charges per text, something to seriously consider. But by all means, feel free to skip this trend(?). Putting one’s foot down is highly underrated in these “anything goes” days. We all need our standards. 🙂

      • That’s why we have the unlimited texting. My granddaughter does over 5000 texts per month. PER MONTH! What the heck can she possibly be texting about so much? And that is only done when she’s not in school. She goes to bed at 8 on school nights and can’t start texting until after 4 pm when she gets home from school. Now she wants a smart phone. Geez! The very thought of it terrifies me.

        • 5000 as in three ZEROS?! LOL! Although, I often find that when I’m texting with someone we get going so fast we zip off one liners. So each one of those count as one text. A conversation like that could easily reach upper double digits in a hurry. 🙂

    • I’m with you, Jerri. I used to attend Twitter a lot, and intend to get back to it, but I always used real words.
      Real punctuation, too.
      I think of it as just another kind of discipline.
      It’s the only kind of discipline at which I succeed.

      • I’m sick in the head with regards to punctuation. It seriously bothers me to not put the comma after the “and” in a series of three like they are doing nowadays. Long live the Oxford comma. (see sick in the head) 🙂

        • OMG! You too? I hate losing that comma after the “and” in a series of three. I was taught that without it the last two items were a pair.

          • Denise, I’m virtually high-fiving you, girl! 🙂
            Peace out, Oxford Comma girlfriend!


        • Josie Matthews says:

          That shows you gals are either really young or serious grammer divas….When they ‘changed the rules?’ and started plopping a comma after that last ‘AND’ I seriously wanted to find the nearest suggestion box and say WTF!!!!!!!

  10. SMH, say it ain’t so. Don’t give into the dark side. Come away from the light…And no matter how hard I try I still won’t be hip. As far as acronyms, I Google the ones I don’t know.

    • I’ve been known to Google acronyms more than a few times too. That’s how I finally found this doozie of a cheat-sheet site. 🙂 And, I’m not ashamed to admit (ok, just a little ashamed) I had to look up what SMH meant. LOL

  11. Vanessa Moss says:

    I loved this post…literally ROFL…printing acronym list as we speak…especially Josie’s version

  12. Now here’s a topic that’s dear to my heart, having two teens and a wannabe-teen in my house. I just know they’re up to something with all that weird language.

    Great translations and observations. I’ve never actually laughed my ass off (sigh) but I’m smiling as I type.

  13. larissahoffman says:

    Hilarious Misty! I still have trouble with ROTFL. My brain always sees ralph (like puke) when I read it.

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