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Internet Speech and You: A Guide

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Community Manager

We’re always finding new and exciting ways to innovate and change the way that we live. Somewhere along the way, we stumbled across a comfortable sub-section of the English language that was popularised through messaging services such as AOL and MSN Messenger among others in the late 90’s/2000’s.


With Facebook Messenger becoming the new norm, we thought it would be worthwhile taking a look back at some of those beloved internet terms, as you may well see these popping up in your online conversations today.


  • F2F – Face to Face
  • For use when referring to seeing, speaking or listening to someone in person.


  • DW – Don’t Worry
  • Used when you don’t want to cause the person you’re speaking with any alarm or concern.


  • BRB – Be Right Back
  • When you’ve got something more urgent to attend to, but don’t want to say goodbye just yet.


  • BBS – Be Back Soon
  • For use when you think ‘BRB’ is cutting it too close.


  • TTYL – Talk To You Later
  • When you want to leave the door open after saying goodbye to someone.


  • GTG/G2G – Got To Go
  • For when you’re ready to end the conversation on your own terms.


  • WYD – What you doing?
  • An abbreviated version of “What ‘ARE’ you doing?” For time’s where you can stand to save the inclusion of a singular word.


  • AFK – Away From Keyboard
  • Usually used in instances when you’re unable to respond. You can find this one being utilised when your presence is required in an online gaming session, or during intense back and forth messaging.


  • LOL – Laugh Out Loud
  • For those times where you need to express to someone that their joke made you laugh out loud*. This expression can be tailored to suit your setting, depending on how hard it made you laugh. (*May or may not denote actual laughing out loud.)


  • ROFL – Rolling On Floor Laughing
  • An extension of LOL, with extensive focus placed on the physical response the subject is feeling at the time of reading the punchline.


Naturally, these are only a few of the short-handed iterations that found their way into popular messaging culture. The list is growing daily, and shows no signs of slowing down.

What’s your favourite initialism or acronym? Are you still using any of the ones we’ve mentioned?


Let us know down below!

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