Post by Quinn C Post by Lewis Post by Quinn C Post by Lewis Post by Quinn C Post by Lewis Post by Ken Blake
Of all the common such abbreviations, "ROFL" is perhaps the most common.
It's certainly common, but most common? No, that would have to be LOL.
Also more common are probably AFK and OMG. On Usenet and among nerds,
RTFM is going to be right up there, if not ahead, but not in general
I didn't know AFK without looking it up (by pointing the mouse to it,
because my newsreader knows.) So I believe that was domain-specific.
Chat, I guess, since it's not useful on Usenet.
Chat and gaming, so the vast majority of the Internet for most people
since few have never even heard of USENET.
I smell anti-elite elitism.
I see nothing wrong with people using chat and games, but I likewise
expect them to see nothing wrong with me not having used these things
Who said there was anything wrong.
We were discussing abbreviations that "anyone who has used the Internet
for years" could be expected to know.
Once again, and we've been over this many times "everyone" (and
"anyone") does not mean ever single one in common usage, it means "the
large majority of".
Post by Quinn C
I believe that this does cover LOL and ROTFL, but not certain others
that were limited to certain corners of the Internet. Even if they were
Online chat and online gaming are not a corner of the Internet, they are
the vast majority of how people use the Internet to communicate.
Certainly more than Usenet and more even than email.
Post by Quinn C Post by Lewis Post by Quinn C
It's not just Usenet. My entrance point to the Internet was BBSs, which
worked similar to Usenet. Then there were Webforums etc.
The lingo on BBSes was very different from Usenet or Internet chat
Post by Quinn C Post by Lewis
ASL was almost only used in various chat platforms (ICQ, IRC, etc). (Not
American Sign Language, Age/Sex/Location).
But the point of the Internet was not to reveal those.
Maybe the slice of the Internet you were on, that was never true in
The humorous exaggeration seems to have whooshed you.
It was an important social innovation that you could have that degree of
interaction without revealing much about your person. But of course it
wasn't "the point" of the Internet.
Certainly that was a common belief for many people, but it was never
true. The belief is still somewhat common, and there are many things on
the Internet that allow you to be anonymous, but the Internet was also
always used for socializing.
I've been on the Internet continuously since the 80s. I've been doing
this a long time.
Post by Quinn C
The first years when I used the actual Internet (as opposed to a BBS
with some windows into it), the point was accessing research results
from various places (using WAIS and FTP.) And of course email, the first
killer app of the Internet.
And chat and rchat and forum software and hunt and mTrek and mudds,
The social aspects were always there. And as soon as you were talking to
someone in real-time or near-real-time, a lot of ways to tell the other
person, essentially, "I might not respond right away, or not as soon as
you might expect" were used, and mostly these became abbreviations.
GTG, BBL, BRB, AFK, DOF, AGSO, and many others I've forgotten all meant,
essentially, the same thing, "Something happening, I won’t respond right
away." and which you used varied by where you were.
AFK was special because it meant you would not be bale to use the
keybaord at all, which was more important in multi-user games, so that
is the terms that was, and still is, most used there. But it was also
used on IRC and ICQ and AIM. Most games have a "AFK" command, and mIRC
had several settings relating to how to behave when you were AFK. World
of Warcraft puts an AFK tag on your characters name if you haven't
touched the keyboard for awhile.
But to get back to the point, yes, I expect that anyone who used the
Internet for any length of time would know what means. And again, for
everyone feel free to substitute "90% of everyone" if that makes you
Be sure and do that also, although with a much smaller percentage, if
someone tells you "I know everyone in this town." Or really, whenever
anyone says "every" or "any" or "none" or "no one" or anything even
Supposing there was justice for all, after all? For every unheeded
beggar, every harsh word, every neglected duty, every slight...
every choice... Because that was the point, wasn't it? You had to
choose. You might be right, you might be wrong, but you had to
choose, knowing that the rightness or wrongness might never be
clear or even that you were deciding between two sorts of wrong,
that there was no right anywhere. And always, always, you did it
by yourself. You were the one there, on the edge, watching and
listening. Never any tears, never any apology, never any
regrets... You saved all that up in a way that could be used when
needed. --Carpe Jugulum