Emoticons (smileys) are essentially pictures of facial expressions made out of punctuation marks. The Hacker's Dictionary attributes the first smiley use to Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Scott Fahlman in 1980. Emoticons are used to alert readers the irony, humor, or other intention of a remark.They are considered online culture's foremost contribution to either the evolution of language or the death of literacy, depending on one's point of view. :-) is the original smiley face,added with countless variations used to express writers' emotion: (Source: Wired Style, Alt.culture)

;-)a wink


a smile






a touch of sarcasm


demonic laugh


eyes crossed and smirking


sticking tongue out at someone


stomach in knot

Online shorthand
Online shorthand
Online shorthand
Netizens and online writers save time and reduce the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by employing tortured acronyms like IMHO instead of "in my humble opinion," which serves the useful purpose of alienating "newbies" (made plain by the admonition RTFM-read the fucking manual).
(Source: Wired Style, Alt.culture)

BTWby the way

FYFS fuck you for sharing

IMO in my opinion

IHMO in my humble opinion

IMNSHO in my not so humble opinion

IOW in other words

IRL in real life

LAT lovely and talented

LOL laughing out loud

OOC out of character, used especially in MUDs

OTOH on the other hand (shorthand of
the online diplomat)

RL real life

ROTFL rolling on the floor laughing

ROTF rolling on the floor

RTFM read the fucking manual,
more common than the tamer RTM (read the manual)

S!MT!!OE!!! sets! my teeth!! On edge!!!
Punctuation critical to express the sentiment
of the sender who would have used
SMTOE (sets my teeth on edge)
if feeling a little bit more in control.

TMOT trust me on this

TPTB the powers that be

TTYTT to tell you the truth

WADR with all due respect

WRT with respect to

WTFIGO what the fuck is going on?

YOYOW you own your own words
(the ur-online shorthand)

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Last modified: 4/11/98 1998 tassanee