If you ask any University of Alabama, Stillman College or Shelton State student if texting is their most used way to communicate with friends and family, odds are they would say 'yes.'

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The trend of using acronyms in texting has become very common, especially among younger people. But what do the acronyms mean, and does everyone know their meaning?

Texting At Dinner

The answer is: it depends.

We're going to talk about some of the acronyms that confuse the general public the most.

When I got my parents a smartphone, they both wanted to know how to text. I explained the phone's functions and how to send a picture or text message. A few days passed, and my mother texted me about a health issue with a family member. She told me the situation and, at the end, she texted "lol," which means 'laugh out loud.' Now, keep in mind it was a very serious situation we are discussing.


I asked her why she was laughing about it, and she replied saying she wasn't - then it hit me; she was a little confused about what "lol" means. I explained to my mother what it meant, and she understood why I reacted as I did initially.

So, for those who aren't text acronym aware, here are a few acronyms you may see in a text conversation and what they mean.

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  • LOL: Laugh out loud
  • TBH: To be honest
  • NSFW: Not safe for work
  • SRSLY: Seriously (This one got me)
  • FOMO: Fear of missing out
  • YOLO: You only live once
  • BFFR: Be f**king for real
  • SMH: Shaking my head

You will likely see these more in a text conversation. Using these in a casual conversation with a friend or family member is one thing. However, if it is a formal communication with work or official business, I would avoid using acronyms at all costs. If the person doesn't understand, you could give the wrong impression.

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