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Internet Acronyms, Smileys and Emoticons

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A selection of smileys that cycles between the basic smiley :-) winkeye ;-) bigeyes 8-) and a sad face :-(

Ever been confused by seemingly random arrangements of letters in the midst of what otherwise seem very conherent posts?

Here you will find those TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) decoded, and those little colon and bracket combinations explained.

Three Letter Acronyms

The first little discrepancy is, of course, that the acronym TLA is completely untrue. Many have four or more letters in them, but then since when did the Internet ever adhere to its own rules?

  • AFAIK - As Far As I Know
  • AFK - Away From Keyboard
  • ATM - At The Moment
  • BBL - Be Back Later
  • BRB - Be Right Back
  • FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
  • FTP - File Transfer Protocol
  • FYI - For Your Information
  • HTH - Happy To Help
  • HTML - Hypertext Markup Language
  • HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • ICQ - (I seek you) - instant messaging and communication program
  • IIRC - If I Recall Correctly
  • IRC - Internet Relay Chat - A method of chatting in real time
  • ISTR - I Seem To Remember
  • IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
  • LOL - Laughs Out Loud
  • OTOH - On The Other Hand
  • ROFL - Rolls On Floor Laughing
  • RTFM - Read The Flippin' Manual!
  • TLA - Three Letter Acronymn
  • TMI - Too Much Information!
  • TTFN - Ta Ta For Now
  • WWW - World Wide Web

Smileys and Emoticons

An entirely text based medium isn't exactly ideal for expressing emotions, so for this reason, Emoticons or Smileys were created. They are used to express different moods, the idea being that if you turn them 90° to the right, you get a little face!

Here are some that you might encounter.

  • :-) or :) - Happy, smiley people!
  • ;-) or ;) - Tipping a wink
  • :-( or :( - I'm so sad
  • :-P or :P - Tongue in cheek
  • :-{) - What a splendid moustache!
  • :~( - Crying

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