We’re Beyond LOL: Some Help Understanding Online Lingo
Posted by Laura McLoughlin on June 01, 2021 in categoryMember Tips

TBH, sometimes even high-level digital literacy skills might not be quite enough to navigate all that’s going on in the online world. ICYMI, acronyms have become embedded in our everyday language.  

We all know LOL. This web-based shorthand has made its way into mainstream culture—it’s now printed on mugs, throw pillows, shirts, or anything you want. But as texting, social media, email, and online message boards have become bigger parts of our lives since the early days of LOL and BRB, thousands more acronyms have emerged. 

So, if you are ISO a cheat sheet to translate some of the more common abbreviations you might come across online, we’ve got you covered, because at ProLiteracy, we’re in the business of helping people understand the world around them. And the last thing you want to do is open something NSFW by mistake. 

AMA—ask me anything 

BAE—before anyone else 

BTW—by the way 

EOD—end of day 

FOMO—fear of missing out 

GL—good luck 

GTG—got to go 

ICYMI—in case you missed it 

IDK—I don’t know 

ILY—I love you 

IRL—in real life 

ISO—in search of 

JK—just kidding/joking 

LMK—let me know 


NP—no problem 

NRN—no reply necessary 

NSFW—not suitable for work 

OIC—oh, I see 


ROFL—rolling on the floor laughing 

SMH—shaking my head 

TBH—to be honest 


TIA—thanks in advance 

Tl;dr—Too long, didn’t read 

TMI—too much information 

YOLO—you only live once 

In all seriousness, though, this is a good reminder of how communicating using language only understood by a certain subset of people can instantly exclude everyone else. If you can't comprehend what is being communicated, you cannot adequately engage. Imagine how an adult who cannot read might feel when looking at a street sign or a job application. 

Digital literacy skills are necessary to fully participate in the world. Help students gain these critical skills with the Learning Upgrade Digital Literacy course and print companion workbook from New Readers Press. 



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