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Electronic Mail Emoticons (Smilies) & Shorthand (Abbreviations)
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by Kass Johns (originally written 12/96 for http://www.kassj.com)
Here are the commonly used abbreviations, and emoticons used to convey emotion or tone when conversing in text-only messages.
Email AbbreviationsYou all know:
FYI = For Your Information
ASAP = As Soon As Possible
SWAK = Sealed With A Kiss
These are nothing more than shorthand for commonly used phrases. Well, these are no different, just a few more (in alphabetical order)...
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
AFK = Away From the Keyboard (to let someone know you stepped away for a moment while live chatting)
AOL = America OnLine
BTW = By The Way
CIS = CompuServe Information Service
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions (This file is a common staple in most newsgroups and forums. Always refer to the FAQ before you ask your question. It likely has already been answered in the FAQ.)
FWIW = For What It's Worth
FYA = For Your Amusement
GA = Go Ahead (as in live chat when you want to let the other speaker know it is their turn)
GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out
IMO = In My Opinion
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO = In My Not So Humble Opinion
IOW = In Other Words
KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid
LOL = Laughing Out Loud
OTOH = On The Other Hand
ROFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing
ROFLOL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loud
RSN = Real Soon Now (as in, when the company will release the new version of their software)
RTM = Read The Manual (Actually, this is the polite contraction of RTFM--you guess what the F stands for.)
TIA = Thanks In Advance (used to thank someone up front when you ask for help with something)
TPTB = The Powers That Be
TTFN = Ta Ta For Now
WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get
<g> = small grin
<G> = big grin
<VBG> = Very Big Grin
<ggg> = giggling
<weg> = wicked, evil grin
<gd&r> = grinning, ducking & running (as in just saying something sarcastic)
<gd&rvf> = grinning, ducking & running very fast
<gd&rvvf> = grinning, ducking & running very, very fast (and so on)
There are more of these abbreviations, but these are the most common ones. You will find that most of your corespondents will use a core set of these.
Emoticons (Emotion Icons) or SmiliesThese may look like gibberish, but they are just a simple way to indicate a smiley face with emotion. Since we are limited to text, we cannot draw a smiley or a frowny.
Tilt your head to the left to see these faces, usually used at the end of a sentence to indicate an emotion. See that the basic smiley is a colon (the eyes), a hyphen (the nose) and a close parenthesis (the mouth). If you still cannot see it, ask one of your kids to show you. :-)
:-) = smiley. The basic smiley, some use the :) without the hyphen "nose" as a short smiley
;-) = winking
;-* = wink with a kiss
:-* = kiss
:-D = laughing or big grin
:-( = frowning
;-( = crying
:-O = look of surprise/shock
:-P = pfffftt (giving someone the raspberry) or just sticking your tongue out at someone
These are the basics. Once you become well-versed in this shorthand and email, you can then experiment in the silly emoticons that fill books and articles. Although, hardly anyone uses those daily. A few of these follow.
Here are three that I use on occasion:
:-/ = whatever
:-\ = whatever
:-| = I call this one, "Have a Day"
And here are a few very goofy ones for people with nothing better to do with their time:
*<:-) = wearing a ski cap with tassel
O:-) = an angel
:-)) = person with a double chin
}:-) = man with a toupee
B-) = someone wearing sunglasses (looks like Batman or Robin to me)
O-) = someone wearing a scuba mask
See, I told you they were silly! If you _really_ want to know more about these, get a book from your local bookstore on Smilies. I know that Peachpit Press has one, as does O'Reilly & Associates.
More Email Netiquette and Novice Information:
[ Email Netiquette ]
© Copyright 1996-2001 by Kass Johns, all rights reserved world wide.
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