Early this morning, the International Internet Language Authority (ILA) based in Geneva introduced five new acronyms for use by internet users from English-speaking countries. This set is the first release in a series of fifteen biweekly installments through 2014. The goal of the campaign, titled Language Evolves Online, is to achieve a more efficient version English and six other world languages for use on the Internet. Spokesperson Hilde Braun told the international press, “Left to the devices of the teenagers driving the adoption of widely used internet terms, online English will continue devolving into a mish mash of meaningless letters. So many terms, like LOL for example, are now meaningless. We estimate that 85% of the time that this term is used, the user is not even amused, let alone laughing out loud.”
The first set of terms addresses LOL and several other standbys of internetspeak. A press release from the ILA noted that government agencies will begin using these terms in the next week and encouraged civilian users of all ages to begin using them as well.
AL1, AL2, AL3… AL10 (instead of LOL)
Replacing LOL, ROTFL, LMAO, and all other acronyms expressing amusement, this rating system for laughter allows clearer expression and comprehension of the user’s actual state of enjoyment. AL stands for Amusement Level, and the following number is a rating between one and nine.
Me: I’m going to that German beer hall later.
You: I hear it’s the wurst. hehehehehe
You: I comprehend your level of amusement and will try harder next time.
ETR## (instead of BRB)
Estimated Time of Return provides a far more accurate way to express how long it will take you to return to the conversation. Currently, BRB represents anywhere between a few seconds and several years. Instead, simply write ETR10 or ETR60 to express how many minutes you’ll be away. If it’s over an hour, you can just say “goodbye,” because at that point the next time you speak counts as an entirely new conversation. This actually applies to real life as much as the internet.
WCW – Wrong Chat Window
We’ve all done it countless times and it’s about time we did something about it. No matter what precautions the makers of our chat applications take, you’ll always fuck it up somehow and accidentally tell your dad you want to buy an ounce of weed. What the ILA is hoping to achieve with WCW is that users will disregard messages not meant for them, rather than read them and use them as ammunition later as they do now.
IPFN – Inebriated, Please Forgive Nonsense
No matter how advance our technology gets, it will be a long time before we have an app that can make drunk people sound articulate. As it stands, autocorrect turns drunken texts into indecipherable sequences of correctly spelled words. Receiving a message like “Cane Increments You Hoses I’m I’m was Uno Stone Henge” without knowing that the sender is drunk can result in argument. In cases when you breach the rule against drunk texting, drop an IPFN in there and preserve your dignity.
YKWIS – You Know What I’m Saying?
This is an incredibly simple application of a classic conversational device that elicits a statement of comprehension from the other party. Online conversations take a form similar to real life conversations in that one person may be going on and on. While in person, we have the benefit of detecting body language and facial expressions, online we are forced to seek this acknowledgment. Using YKWIS not only has the function of prompting it, but also keeps things casual and street sounding, YKWIS?
Do you feel like LOLROTFLing?