SMH and LOL at Internet Speak

There is a whole world out there, a whole language in which I feel woefully inadequate.

That would be internet-land and its language.

My daughter is always laughing at my ineptitude.

“GBH & K!” she yells to me, running out the door. (Great big hugs and kisses)

I stand there, looking mystified, as I try to figure out the latest abbreviation.

“Oh! H&K, too!” I shout. But she’s already out of sight.

My daughter is so good at KPC. (Keeping parents clueless) Just when I think I’ve got it she throws a new one at me.

KWIM was her favorite for a long time. And she’d pronounce it, like it was a word. “Kwim?” she’d ask. (Know what I mean?)

Or “ADK!” she’d roll her eyes, exasperated with her little brother putting on his shoes. (Any day now)

I never really worried about her on the internet. I should have. I know the dangers. I used to teach at one of the first laptop high schools in our state. I felt more comfortable when I was teaching. My students would share with me things they’d never tell their parents.

But  now, my daughter is old enough (almost 18) and savvy enough (everything is password protected) that I have very little control over what she is doing. Oh sure, I could use spyware, and in my defense, we’ve only recently cut the majority of the apron strings. But she’s going to be in college classes this fall. (dual enrollment with her high school and the local college) And out of the house next year. You’ve got to start somewhere.

It’s too late for me. And my daughter thinks chatrooms are “lame.” But texting is ripe with abbreviations. Some are funny. Some not so funny.


ROFLAPMP = Rolling on floor laughing and peed my pants

HMS = Home made smiley

BUDWEISER = Because you deserve what every individual should ever receive

100 = Nature calls/Pitstop

FAAK = Falling asleep at keyboard

Not So Funny

PAW = Parents are watching

TAW = Teachers are watching

MOS = Mom over shoulder

LMIRL = Let’s meet in real life

NIFOC = Naked in front of computer

The internet is an amazing, wonderful and scary tool. In my day, we passed notes in class with the frightening chance that a teacher (or the boy we’re mooning over) might find it. Today? There’s text, chat, email – instantaneous communication that can be intercepted, sent to the wrong person, or allow you to come in contact with very scary people two states away without your parents ever having a clue.

SMH over here. (Shaking my head)

I’m not LOL anymore.

(Update: Ok. Things just got scarier. After reading some of your comments I decided to add a few reference lists so you, too, could educate yourself on internet abbreviations every parent should know. Down right frightening! But so important that we try to keep up! Check out: Top 50 Internet Acronyms Parents Need to Know and 99 texting acronyms you (and every other parent) should know)


Filed under children, Lessons Learned

30 responses to “SMH and LOL at Internet Speak

  1. ck

    Oh man, I had no idea about the NSF terms. I have soooo much to learn. (When did I go and get old?)

  2. SSIFOCRN. Sitting, stunned, in front of computer right now.

  3. It’s very scary….we really have to protect our kids!!

  4. I recently cracked a little Twitter joke about microblogging from the National Spelling Bee because of the phonetic protesters there. I made it a point to use some “internet speak” in the tweet. I think a real protester saw it and I disappointed them. 😦

    AFAIK that’s what happened. Whiskey tango foxtrot.

    The “Not So Funny” section is pretty alarming. 😦

  5. Wow. Thanks for the lesson. I like to think I am hip and with it, but apparently not! TTYL!

  6. My son is 12 and totally into IM and texting. It’s scary. I try to monitor things and keep up with the lingo (I did know all of the not-so-funny ones), but it’s a challenge.

    Too funny that you daughter says them aloud too – like GBH&K and Quim! God, I feel OLD!

  7. It scares me to think where the online world will be by the time my son is in the tween/teen years (or earlier, God help me…) I try not to stress about it because I know that whatever is most menacing today will have changed by then. But I’m going to have to be on my toes regardless.

  8. I’m hoping that by the time my kids are on-line it will be so cool and retro to pass notes in class. (Wishful thinking?).
    It is all so scary and I’m also extremely clueless. The fact that kids now TALK with these abbreviations and not just text with them is crazy too. What ever happened to plain old Pig Latin or Jibberish?

  9. I’m so glad my boy is 4. He’s not allowed to grow up and reach puberty until he’s 30. Just to be safe.

  10. I know exactly what you mean about feeling out of the loop since stopping teaching. I’ve been out of the classroom for three years, but I think I’ve aged thirty Internet years!

  11. My kids have yet to delve deep into the text language, but I try very hard to keep up on things. Better to know than find out the hard way!! The worst is the individual shortcuts that are unique to their own group of friends.

  12. unabridgedgirl

    Internet slang still gets me here and there, especially if I am talking to my nephew. I am like, “What in lands are you saying, child?”

  13. My students are out of control with the text speak. I literally have n0 idea what they are saying/writing sometimes. That is scary!

  14. Poor English language. It’s a slow death. Now, do I have to worry since I have boys?

  15. I think necessity created chatspeak, because when texting was first developed, it was quite expensive. I didn’t know any of the ones you listed, either. Except LOL. It makes me worry for the English language and proper writing.

  16. Sounds like all parents need to BOLO.

    (Don’t know computerspeak, but I do watch Law & Order.)

  17. Nicki

    It gets worse for some parents as their kids get older. I remember the time – only computer at that point was in the living room – I came out of my bedroom to find one of my male children looking at some web sites of questionable content and pleasuring himself. UGH! We had a long talk, after I could speak again. This is the same kid that now tells me everything that is going on in the dorm (not sure that is healthy either).

  18. Thank you for sharing this. It’s scary to imagine what will be out there when my girls get online. How do we protect our kids from things we can’t see, we don’t know?

  19. I worry about my 15 year old daughter on the internet, she really doesn’t seem to understand that ANYONE could be reading and seeing what she writes and shows. However many times I point out the fact once she presses that send button it’s out there ….forever.

  20. Oh God, never heard of some of these. Luckily, like your daughter, my youngest is only too glad to let me in on the lingo, if only to point out how truly clueless I am.

  21. This post belongs on the front page of every newspaper and such. It is PDI (Pretty Darn Important) for people to think about. It’s funny because I was typing LOL today and thought to myself how much I wished I didn’t have to use that all of the time, but I do laugh out loud and I wanted the writer to know it was funny. So I am guilty, but not to the extent that other people are. Thanks for the laughs and the words to ponder as always.

  22. Already heading over to your link on the 50–I am not cool in this area either.

  23. Steven Harris

    I am both fascinated and sometimes horrified by the reduction of perfectly good sentences into netspeak. As a linguist it’s intriguing the way language keeps on reinventing itself, usually in the hands (mouths) of younger members of society who need to feel they own their own way of speaking. But not I am over forty I find it harder and harder to keep up. A case in point: the first time I ever checked out an online chatroom I was immediately hailed by someone who said ‘Hi’ and then said ‘ASL’ I had no idea they were asking my age, sex and location. I thought it was short for ‘asshole’ so I felt they were being extremely judgemental about someone they’d only just ‘met’. 🙂

    • angelcel

      Hahaha…I laughed out loud at the ASL misunderstanding! I might well have jumped to the same conclusion! 😀

  24. At least your daughters version of GBH is quite nice…the only time I ever hear that is on the news when they say someone was charged with GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm)!

    As for all the other text speak, I don’t use it, and I won’t use it. Kids here have now gone the other way and are making words longer by putting double letters at the end…likee thiss. What’s that all about?

    And saying “kwim” out loud?…well say that in the UK and it means something else entirely!!

  25. Yikes! Totally, utterly unexposed to any of this before. Again, Jane, you’re keeping me up to date on the real world as I seem to keep missing these things …

  26. Well I’d never heard of half of these.

    As a teacher, it always astounds me when some of my pupils hand in work using abbreviated text!

    I’m always tempted to write across it. N.W.A.I.A.T.S.M.A.C.A.D.I.A.F.H.U.R.E!
    No Way Am I Accepting This See Me After Class And Do It Again For Homework Using Real English!

  27. ANIL

    Just like all the adults on your comments column,I thought that I was well informed but apparently not. This is scary especially considering the perverts out on the internet trying to snare young children/girls etc.

    Thanks for this article

    Worried Parent.

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