Thus the rise of acronyms. Acronyms in social media have become a social construct of sorts - and they've changd over time and in different situations as well. They're fairly plastic according to the community one uses them in.
Did that sound smart enough?
What I mean is that the acroymns we used five years ago may be spelled the same, but the ideas they represent - for it goes beyond the physical words they represent - have changed in that time. As well, what one community reads into an acronym is very different than what a seperate community would read into.
Take for example the acronym "DP." In some chat rooms this means "display picture," which can be used to indicate someone's avatar (or also can be used to say you want to switch to video chat or see someone's picture). If, however you were on a lesbian parenting site, and someone said "lurve your DP" that could be taken to mean "I'm planning on stealing your hot female partner from you." Because in that arena DP would mean "dear partner."
So see, it's important to understand that acronymns have meaning in context but also in social setting.
Frankly I think we should stop being such lazy blighters and imbeciles and just type what we mean, but whatever. Here's what I'm going to think you mean when you use these acronyms:
LOL (physical translation: laughing out loud):
If you're writing it when retweeting one of my posts it means "I haven't actually read this, but if I say it amused me than probably she'll retweet one of my posts so here it goes."
If you're telling me something and end with "lol" it means "I know what I just said was offensive but I want to maintain my passive-agressive neutrality and pretend I was just trying to be funny" or "I'm telling an utter lie here and I hope you catch it."
If I say something funny and you respond with "lol" (dear Lord do not do this IRL "in real life") then I hear "I am an automaton that realises you were trying to be funny and am attempting to respond appropriately."
PMSL (physical translation: pissing myself laughing):
If you're writing it in reponse to one of my posts then it means you actually did read it and may have smiled for a second once or twice.
If you're spreading gossip or relaying news to me and end with "pmsl" it means "damn I shouldn't be pleased by this but I am!"
If I say something funny and you respond with "pmsl" (see tip above) then I hear "Yeah I kinda laughed at that one."
IRL (physical translation: in real life):
This is just chock full of sarcasm and lacking in any real meaning anyway. We all know that facebook, Twitter, and our blogs are "real" life. I love it when people say "But you're so busy in IRL, no wonder you didn't have time to blog." That means "Haha. I know you're incapable of handling the millions of things the rest of us mothers do. Chill out cause you're pissing me off with your stress."
NAK (physical translation: nursing at keyboard):
While this is a convienant excuse for your
DH, DS, DD, LO (all "dear" members of your family):
There is no other explanation for this than "I'm a tired mom and I've forgotten the names and gender of all my children. I think I'm married. I'm not sure if he's a dear husband or a dreary hole-licker."
WTF (physical translation: what the fuck?):
This one's pretty straightforward, actually. It expresses surprise or disgust. Or in the case of "WTF are you talking about now," general world-weariness (or at least weariness of me). However, some people, probably the same ones I hear out and about saying "and then I was, like, fuck that. And he was all fucking nasty. And I felt so, like, fucking, you know, upset...." overuse it. Their response to everything is WTF? If the world surprises you that much perhaps you should just lock yourself in the basement. In other words: if you don't have brain cells please don't pretend to have opinions.
FTW (physical translation: "for the win" OR "fuck the world"):
First it's confusing that it's got two translations. What's even more confusing is my dyslexic take on it as being "what the fuck" backwards. Therefore I always read it as "fuck the what" which is like the surprise of WTF but with added confusion. I kinda like my meaning more. So I'm not going to change it. Sorry.
IMO (physical translation: in my opinion):
We all know what this means. "I don't agree with you and I think you're an idiot, but I'm going to diminish the pure vehemence of my disagreement (and hatred for you) by declaring that what I'm about to say is just my opinion."
IMHO (physical translation: in my humble opinion):
Again, pretty straight-forward. "I hate you. I hate everything you say. I know you feel the same about me. I know you and all your friends are about to flame me for saying this. But here goes. I'll get my friends to defend me later."
FWIW (physical translation: for what it's worth):
Like the two above it's pretty clear what this means. "I think you're an idiot and can't understand factual evidence vs. anecdotal evidence, so I'm going to do my best to educate you just a little but I doubt it will stick to a brain-dead monkey like you."
That's about it. For more interesting translations, check out Bianca's post on the subject. She knows oodles more than me, LOL!
Meanwhile, leave your favourite acronym and it's real translation for me in the comments.