Let’s face it. Social media has bred a language of its own. From LOL to NSFW (which is an important one to know, see below), communication on Twitter, and online in general, has become an overwhelming monster, especially for those who just don’t understand.
As we learned in an earlier post, You Gotta Talk the Talk: The Art of Conversation on Twitter, conversation and content is paramount, but how you say it is just as important. Conversationally speaking, it’s important to speak the same language.
Seemingly Tolkien-esque, Twitter lingo can be confusing and unnecessary, but it is imperative to remain up-to-date with social media linguistics and incorporate it into your tweets and online conversations.
Why, you ask?
In a word: brevity. With only 140 characters per tweet, limited space means abbreviations, acronyms, and slang are inevitable. For a referential base, Business Insider crafted their Guide to Twitter Lingo to get you through this language-learning process relatively unscathed. If it still seems impossible, check out the Twitter Glossary from Twitter.
Below, you’ll find a few translations of some quintessential Twitter-ese.
|NSFW||not safe for work|
|TL;DR||too long; didn’t read|
And before you go off on a tangent about the destruction online jargon has on the English language, consider this point from a study done by Utah State University, “English is a way of art, and what good would this form of art be if it was not adjustable? The human race is in constant need of new ways to express itself.” We understand this terrain can seem too treacherous to pass, but the best way to become comfortable, and dare we say fluent, in the language that is Twitter is through practice and usage.