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The Meaning of All Those Symbols and Shorthands...Revealed!

If you're new to chat, you may find this summary of online etiquette and shorthands useful.

When you first enter a Chat Room, most members give a brief greeting, or wave (::waving::) and grin (:D), or just a simple "hi." You may want to just hang around and listen without talking. Get the feel of the Room. This is called "lurking" and is perfectly acceptable.

Typing in all caps is considered shouting, so please spare everyone's ears and your vocal chords.

Vulgarity is unacceptable anywhere, anytime. 'Nuff said.

Because online chat usually is a text only medium, it makes the conveyance of emotion somewhat difficult.

People use shorthands in this "faceless" medium to express feelings and show actions or "body language." You'll find shorthands used in chat, on message boards, in electronic mail -- everywhere! Tilting your head to the left or turning your screen on its side will help you to see most of the shorthands. :) <--- See? Two eyes and a mouth!

Here is a listing of some of the most popular symbols and abbreviations:
:) = smile
:>) = big smile
:D = smile/laughing/big grin
:* = kiss
;) = wink
:X = my lips are sealed
:P = sticking out tongue
{} = a hug
:( = frown
:'( = crying
O:) = angel
}:> = devil

LOL = Laughing Out Loud
ROTF = Rolling On The Floor (laughing)
AFK = Away From Keyboard
BAK = Back At Keyboard
BRB = Be Right Back
TTFN = Ta-Ta For Now!
WB = Welcome Back
GMTA = Great Minds Think Alike
BTW = By The Way
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
WTG = Way To Go!

These are just the most common shorthands. New faces and abbreviations are constantly being created. If you see one you don't understand, just ask!

Look for these symbols while online and try creating new ones yourself.

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