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Austin Chronicle BTW, It's E-bonics: A guide to net lingo

APRIL 13, 1998:  As e-mail becomes more and more a part of our lives, so has what I have come to call "e-bonics," a kind of Readers' Digest Condensed version of English. You've no doubt seen the emoticons, or "smileys" used in e-mail or online chatrooms. You may have even heard people speak in e-bonics: "BTW, I'll BRB" just means "By the way, I'll be right back." E-bonics, I predict, will become more and more pervasive.

When Jon Lebkowsky interviewed filmmaker Doug Block in February, they communicated by e-mail, and I opted to leave in the acronyms because it made sense to convey the story in the same cyber-spirit in which it was conducted. Likewise, within this interview with Signal to Noise author Carla Sinclair, she sprinkles smileys throughout her replies, imbuing her comments with whimsey and good humor.


AFK Away from keyboard

BAK Back at keyboard

BBL/BBS Be back later/be back soon

BRB Be right back

BTW By the way

GMTA Great minds think alike

IMHO In my humble opinion

IRL In real life

LMAO laughing my ass off

LOL laughing out loud

ROFL rolling on the floor laughing

ROFLPIMP rolling on the floor laughing peeing in my pants


: ) or :-) happy smiley

: ( unhappy smiley

}:) devilish smiley

: D laughing smiley

: P sticking out tongue smiley

: * kissy smiley

_I_ cyber version of an international hand gesture that does not mean hi or goodbye.

- Margaret Moser

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