We’re all moving at such a fast digital pace to fit into 140 characters or less, making sure we leave enough room to share, like, retweet, pin, and post so we remain social media friendly with our friends and followers. Stuffing abbreviations and emoticons in IM messages and texts is all- so-common, that even grandmothers and young children are up on the latest digital vocabulary.

In pre-netiquette days, we were all familiar with the use of the acronym RSVP on an invitation to request a response, P.S. at the end of a handwritten note, or ASAP when it was a matter of priority status. In today’s rushed paced digital world, often you will see emoticons such as xoxo to show affection or 🙂 for the happy face. Internet etiquette is quite tricky, so I say when in doubt, don’t post something that you believe will be inappropriate to be shared.

Perhaps you know the simple acronym of BTW means “By the Way” or TY stands for “Thank You.” The acronym of LOL, “Laugh out Loud” is used so frequently that it was featured in an entire segment of a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

However, with our abbreviated language, more often-than-not, someone may send you an email or tweet with a myriad of acronyms that you might not be familiar with. Before you respond, it’s time to take a digital peek at our dictionary of acronyms that will redefine your vocabulary.

Social netiquette differs from business netiquette. You should be careful not mix business with pleasure on your social networking sites as well as limit the use of acronyms and avoid them completely in business correspondence. Remember that your messages can and will be forward to others within the organization.

Not everyone speaks the same language online. While you might think a HAND is an appendage, it actually stands for “Have a Nice Day.” IBM isn’t just the computer giant, it stands for “Inadequate but Marketable.”

Do you think acronyms are overused online and in emails? Do you have a favorite acronym?

Your comments are welcome.

Julie Spira is a netiquette expert and author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web.” For a list of 200 acronyms, visit RulesofNetiquette.com/acronyms.

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