Today I learned (TO) that there is an 83-page FBI “guide” to Internet slang filled with abbreviations that are either entered by a complete troll or a person who is completely ignorant, as recently reported by Input. And yes, TIL is actually included in the guide, but there are thousands of other abbreviations as well that I am convinced someone just came up with. Because there is actually no one who uses BTDTGTTSAWIO (been there, done that, got the T-shirt and used it) … no?
As Input points out that the FBI’s guide was made available through a 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. If you decide to check it out, you should know that it is in pretty poor quality, but it is still readable for the most part. The edge actually reported on this when it was first released; it has not been rehashed in a while (and that’s the first I’ve heard of it). Almost 10 years later, it’s still just as fun.
“With the advent of Twitter and other social media on the Internet, the use of shorthand and acronyms has exploded,” the guide explains. “DI’s Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) has compiled a comprehensive – but far from exhaustive – list of shorthand and acronyms used on Twitter and other social media such as instant messengers, Facebook and MySpace.”
It says it contains about 2,800 different examples of slang, which read “you should find useful in your work or to keep up with your children and / or grandchildren.” The guide also encourages agents to add more words to the list (and then describes how), which makes me wonder if there was any kind of approval process for additional items.
Here are some of the most bizarre I found:
- 420: Drugs
- BTWITIAILWU: By the way, I think I’m in love with you
- DITYID: Did I tell you I’m depressed?
- DBI: Shower behind index
- SHORT: Human-alien predators
- MSR: Mulder Scully Romance
- NAK: Nursing by keyboard
- TROUSERS: Pee in my pants of laughter
- PMT: Premenstrual tension
- SF: Surfer friendly (low graphics site)
- TBM: Tactical girlfriend mention
Some of the included words are not even internet slang; they are just direct abbreviations that people use in their careers, such as DNR (do not revive), DNS (domain name service and HSPDA (high speed packet data access). and “LOLOL,” interpreted as “lots of laughs.” If there is a newer guide, I would like to see how things have changed – and if the agents have any idea how to understand moderation filtering bypassing “algospeak”.
Anyway, at least I didn’t go down without explaining myself first.