- My age:
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Acronyms have always been an integral part of computer culture, and they have since spawned a new language on the Internet.
Commonly thought of as a series of letters that make up a 'word' there is a distinction between acronyms and shorthand. Online enthusiasts are learning that shorthand are in fact called acronyms, but this is incorrect.
The difference between acronyms and shorthand is that with acronyms, you pronounce the letters as a new word for example, 'FUBAR' is pronounced 'foo-bar' and 'RADAR' is pronounced 'ray-dar'.
In contrast, shorthand pronunciations are like an initialism a set of initials in which you say the letters one-by-one for example, 'ESP' is an initialism for 'extra sensory perception' whereas 'esp. The online practice is to refer to shorthand, initialisms, or abbreviations as acronyms. The majority of the expressions you see above are not acronyms, but rather shorthand used while text messaging or IMing.
There are several terms to describe different kinds of jargon including anacronymbackronymweather acronymscity acronymsleetspeak and textonyms. Commonly used wherever people get online -- including IMingSMSingcell phoneswebsitesgamesnewsgroup postingsin chat roomson blogsor on social media -- these abbreviations are used by people around the world to communicate with each other.
NetLingo is also tracking a global list of worldwide text terms and international online jargon!
The actual definition of an acronym and text shorthand is here. I have a comment. Acronyms, Abbreviations, Shorthand, Leetspeak Acronyms have always been an integral part of computer culture, and they have since spawned a new language on the Internet.
Got a favorite one you don't see here? Suggest an acronym or shorthand!