American Dialect Society announced ‘Tweet”, a short message sent via the micro-blogging site Twitter as the word of the year, .Â Ever since the official ‘WOTY’ (Word of the Year) tradition started in 1991, an internet theme seems is emerging: “information superhighway” (1993), “cyber” (1994), “web” (1995), “e-mail” (1998), “tweet” (2009), “web” (90’s), “google” (00’s) .Â Something of a web-matryoshka-doll effect seems to be taking place.Â The web led to emails to search engines to major gaming to wikis to social networkingâ€¦Â Is listening next?Â Maybe something broader, perhaps something more obscure â€“weâ€™ll be listening either way.
Certainly, the creation of words like â€˜Tweetâ€™ and â€˜e-mailâ€™, â€˜Googleâ€™ and â€˜unfriendâ€™ are evidence that social media is affecting and expanding language around the world.
Since Tweet was the word of â€˜09, I thought weâ€™d look back at some of the most popular abbreviations, symbols, and terms that are a large part of communicating on Twitter and other social networks.Â Some have even pierced through and become part of the spoken language:
- Smh â€“ Shake.My.Head. â€œOMG, thereâ€™s no way I’ll ever listen 2 another Chris Brown song after what he did.Â Smh.â€
- RT â€“ The Twitter version of the oh-so-glorious â€œcopy and pasteâ€.Â Re-Tweet allows you to share a fellow Tweeter’s Tweet. Display their post on your own Twitter preceded by an â€œRTâ€ -share their insight with your network, express your approval, disapproval, or complement the comment with your own 2 cents.
- ATM â€“ It’s no longer just a machine that spits out cash, at the moment it meansâ€¦ â€œat the momentâ€.
- Imma â€“ I will or I am going to bla bla bla.Â This is simply a sloppy but efficient way to begin the aforementioned statements.
- FNG â€“ A new employeeâ€¦
- ROFL â€“ Rolling.on.(the).Floor.Laughing.Â Someone just posted a knock knock joke so absolutely funny, it has you literally (also a new favorite for anyone meaning â€˜figurativelyâ€™ but choosing to be incorrect, therefore negating any opinion they may be expressing) rolling on the floor laughing.Â You write ROFL in response so that they knew you just rolled on the floor in due part to their ridiculous post, message, IM, email, whatever â€“or at least that you thought about it â€“maybe you lolâ€™ed and would have roflâ€™ed if the floor if the dog hadnâ€™t used the floor for a toilet.
- b4 â€“ (instead of before) This abbreviation and others like it allow a Tweeter to save space in their post, more importantly a millionth of a second in time that you can spend Tweeting more later.
- (N)SFW â€“ Not.Safe.for.Work.Â (or vice-versa)Â So, youâ€™re staring at a scandalous email with a scandalous image. Â Itâ€™s hy-ster-ical. You’ve got to forward it to your co-worker.Â However, you most certainly donâ€™t want her to unwittingly open it in front of the CFO who frequents the co-worker’s workspace.Â Simple â€“type â€œNSFWâ€ in the subject line and your co-worker will know that she needs to wait until the CFO leaves for the restroom to open that email.
- JK â€“ Everyone knows this one, regardless of what your demographicÂ is. â€œIâ€™m not really a chocolate person.Â JK!! lol.â€
- FTW â€“ For.the.Win.Â â€œI have 4 new friend requests. FTW!!â€