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Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In IM (Instant Messaging)

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A Parent Guide to Understanding What Your Child is Typing

Acronyms are an abbreviation that is formed with the first letter of each word in a phrase. They have made their way into the English language as common language that becomes a new word. For instance the word "laser" is commonly used to describe an intense beam of light but it is actually an acronym that stands for lightwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Acronyms are used extensively in online chat conversations and Instant Messaging (IM) as a short cut to typing an entire expression. Not only is this done to save time, children use them to "secretly" communicate even when a parent is standing in the room (for instance POS (Parent Over Shoulder) is typed by a teen to let their chat partner know that their parent just walked in the room).

The problem with online chat and IM is that if a parent tries to read what their child is typing they can't understand it. Here is a handy list of common acronyms to help translate their conversation.

"A" Acronyms
AFAIK As far as I know
AFK Away from computer keyboard
AIM AOL Instant Messenger
AM Away Message
ASAP As soon as possible
A/S/L Age/Sex/Location
ATM At the moment

"B" Acronyms
B Back
BFF Best Friends Forever
BBL Be back later
BBS Be back soon
BC or B/C Because
BCNU Be Seein' You
BFN Bye for now
BG Big grin
BI Buddy Icon
BL Buddy List
BMG Be my guest
BRB Be right back
BTA But then again
BTW By the way

"C" Acronyms
CFN Ciao for now
CID Consider it done
CUL or CUL8R See you later

"D" Acronyms
DQMOT Don't quote me on this

"E" Acronyms
EOM End of message

"F" Acronyms
FAQ Frequently asked questions
FWIW For what it's worth
FYI For your information

"G" Acronyms
GL Good luck
GMTA Great minds think alike
GRA Go right ahead
GW Good work

"H" Acronyms
HT Hi there
HTH Hope this helps

"I" Acronyms
IAC In any case
IAE In any event
IDK I don't know
IK I know
IM Instant message
IMHO In my humble opinion
IMO In my opinion
IMS I am sorry
IOW In other words

"J" Acronyms
JIC Just in case
JK Just kidding
JTLYK Just to let you know

"K" Acronyms
K Okay
KIS Keep it simple

"L" Acronyms
L8R Later
LOL Laughing out loud

"N" Acronyms
NBD No big deal
NP No problem
NRN No response necessary

"O" Acronyms
OH Off hand
OIC Oh I see
OTOH On the other hand
OTP On the phone

"P" Acronyms
PLS or PLZ Please
POC Point of contact
POS Parent Over Shoulder
POV Point of view

"R" Acronyms
ROTFL Rolling on the floor laughing
RSN Real soon now
RUOK? Are you okay?

"S" Acronyms
SN Screen Name
SYS See you soon

"T" Acronyms
TAFN That's all for now
TBA To be announced
TBH To be honest
THX Thanks
TIA Thanks in advance
TTFN Ta ta for now
TTYL Talk to you later
TY Thank you

"U" Acronyms
UN User Name

"W" Acronyms
WB Welcome back
WE Whatever
WFM Works for me
WTG Way to go
WU? What's up?

"Y" Acronyms
YT? You there?
YW You are welcome

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