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For better or for worse, Internet shorthand and abbreviations have been firmly planted in our lexicon. So much so, in fact, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has an 83-page document named “Twitter Shorthand” categorizing everything from “<3″ to “YTP” (YouTube Poop).
That the FBI is monitoring the Internet and social media is not surprising. According to Motherboard, back in early 2013, it was revealed by the ACLU that the FBI, IRS and DOJ don’t believe that a warrant is needed to look at U.S. citizens’ online communication — even communications that aren’t public.
And to keep up with the ever-changing Internet slang, the agency has a very detailed list — and it is pretty LOL-worthy.
“With the advent of Twitter and other social media venues on the Internet, use of acronyms and shorthand has exploded,” the document reads, stating the terribly obvious. “The DI’s Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) has put together an extensive — but far from exhaustive — list of shorthand and acronyms used in Twitter and other social media venues such as instant messages, Facebook and MySpace.”
“This list has about 2600 entries you should find useful in your work or for keeping up with children and/or grandchildren,” the document goes on to say. “We’ll continue to update/expand this list.”
The document was acquired through the Freedom of Information Act on MuckRock, Motherboard explains. MuckRock shows that it was requested by MuckRock user jasonsmathers on Jan. 17, 2014, and was provided by the U.S. on June 13, 2014.
Here are some some of the stranger entries from Motherboard:
- “PMIGBOM: Put mind in gear before opening mouth
- PMFJIB: Pardon me for jumping in, but
- PMT: pre menstrual tension
- NOOB or n00b: newbie (usually derogatory)
- NFN: Normal for Norfolk (originally a derogatory term used by medical doctors in Norfolk and Norwich hospital in UK for intellectually challenged patients. Now may also mean something more endearing-like quaint)
- KIRF: Keeping it real fake
- KMT: Kiss my teeth”
And more from the Washington Post, with the number of tweets using the shorthand:
- “AYFKMWTS (“are you f—— kidding me with this s—?”) — 990 tweets
- BFFLTDDUP (“best friends for life until death do us part) — 414 tweets
- BOGSAT (“bunch of guys sitting around talking”) — 144 tweets
- BTDTGTTSAWIO (“been there, done that, got the T-shirt and wore it out”) — 47 tweets
- BTWITIAILWY (“by the way, I think I am in love with you”) — 535 tweets
- DILLIGAD (“does it look like I give a damn?”) — 289 tweets
- DITYID (“did I tell you I’m depressed?”) — 69 tweets
- E2EG (“ear-to-ear grin”) — 125 tweets
- GIWIST (“gee, I wish I said that”) — 56 tweets
- HCDAJFU (“he could do a job for us”) — 25 tweets
- IAWTCSM (“I agree with this comment so much”) — 20 tweets
- IITYWIMWYBMAD (“if I tell you what it means will you buy me a drink?”) — 250 tweets
- LLTA (“lots and lots of thunderous applause”) — 855 tweets
- NIFOC (“naked in front of computer”) — 1,065 tweets, most of them referring to acronym guides like this one.
- PMYMHMMFSWGAD (“pardon me, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a damn”) — 128 tweets
- SOMSW (“someone over my shoulder watching) — 170 tweets
- WAPCE (“women are pure concentrated evil”) — 233 tweets, few relating to women
- YKWRGMG (“you know what really grinds my gears?”) — 1,204 tweets”
And if you can read the grainy scan, you can check out the list below via scribd:
Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Sarah Gray.