Electronic Text Communication

Electronic Text Communication takes a number of different forms, chiefly email, posting to online chat rooms and newsgroups, and SMS (Short Messaging Service) messages between mobile phones.

The vocabulary, syntax, and style of electronic text communication is much more fluid than that found in formal writing, and may also be highly personalized. Electronic communication is typically very informal in nature and characterized by many features more often found in conversational speech.


Some of the more established abbreviations used in all types of electronic communication are listed below:

@ at MOB mobile
AFAIK as far as I know MSG message
AFK away from the keyboard MYOB mind your own business
ASL age, sex, location NE1 anyone
ATB all the best NOYB none of your business
B be NO1 no one
BAK back at the keyboard OTOH on the other hand
BBL be back late(r) OIC oh I see
BCNU be seeing you PCM please call me
BFN bye for now PLS please
B4 before PPL people
BRB be right back R are
BTW by the way ROTF(L) rolling on the floor (laughing)
C see RUOK are you okay?
CUL8R see you later SIT stay in touch
F2F face to face SOM1 someone
F2T free to talk SPK speak
FWIW for what it¿s worth TTYL talk to you later
FYI for your information TX thanks
GAL get a life U you
GR8 great WAN2 want to
HAND have a nice day W/ with
H8 hate WKND weekend
HSIK how should I know? WU what's up?
HTH hope this helps X kiss
IANAL I am not a lawyer, but - (as a disclaimer) XLNT excellent
IMHO in my humble opinion XOXOX hugs and kisses
IMO in my opinion YMMV your mileage may vary (i.e. your experience may differ)
IOW in other words YR your
JIC just in case 2 to, too
JK just kidding 2DAY today
KIT keep in touch 2MORO tomorrow
KWIM know what I mean 2NITE tonight
L8R later 3SUM threesome
LOL lots of luck / laughing out loud 4 for


Emoticons typically represent a facial expression and are used chiefly to mark the tone of the preceding sentence or to indicate the writer's feelings. The following are some of the more commonly seen:

:-) happy (a 'smiley') :-( unhappy
:-D laughing :-|| angry
;-) winking; just kidding :-V shouting
:-* kiss |-O yawning
:-o surprised :-Q I don't understand
:-( frowning :-& tongue-tied
:-c very unhappy :-X my lips are sealed
X= fngers crossed :-P sticking one's tongue out
:'-( crying :-/ sceptical
:-| bored, indifferent :-Y aside comment

Related Links:

Keep Sentences Short.
Use words your readers are likely to understand.
Use only as many words as you really need.
Prefer the active voice.
Use the clearest, liveliest verb to express your thoughts.
Use Vertical Lists to make complex materil understandable.
Keep Electronic Text Communication simple.
Put your points positively when you can.
Reduce cross-references to the minimum.
Try to avoid sexist usage.
Avoidable English Errors are so many.
Avoid fusty first sentences and formula finishes.
Put accurate punctuation at the heart of your writing.
Avoid being enslaved by seven writing myths.
Plan Before You Write.
Organize your material in a simple way.
Consider different ways of setting out your information.
Devote special effort to producing lucid instructions.
Use clear layout to present your plain words.

Plain English Index

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