Today I learned (TIL) there is one 83-page FBI “guide” to internet slang filled with abbreviations typed in by either a complete troll or someone completely clueless, as recently reported by Entry. And yes, TIL is indeed in the guide, but so are thousands of other abbreviations that I’m sure someone just made up. Because nobody actually uses BTDTGTTSAWIO (been there, done it, got the t-shirt and wore it off)… right?
When Entry notes that the FBI’s guide was made available through a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 2014. If you decide to give it a try, know that it’s in pretty crappy quality, but it’s still readable for the most part. The edge actually reported about it back when it was first published; it hasn’t been reheated for a while (and it’s the first time I’ve heard of it). Almost 10 years later, it’s still just as funny.
“With the rise of Twitter and other social networks on the web, the use of abbreviations and acronyms has exploded,” the guide explains. “The DI’s Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) has compiled an extensive – but far from exhaustive – list of abbreviations and acronyms used in Twitter and other social media such as instant messengers, Facebook and MySpace.”
It contains around 2,800 different examples of slang that “you should find useful in your work or to be able 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 kind of makes me wonder if there was any approval process for additional entries.
Here are some of the most bizarre ones I’ve found:
- 420: Drugs
- BTWITIAILWU: By the way, I think I’m in love with you
- DITYID: Did I tell you I’m depressed?
- DBI: Douche Bag Index
- MAP: Human-Alien-Predator
- MSR: Mulder Scully Romance
- NAK: Nursing at the keyboard
- PIMPL: piss my pants laughing
- PMT: Premenstrual Tension
- SF: Surfer friendly (low graphics site)
- TBM: mention of a tactical friend
Some of the words included aren’t even internet slang; they’re just plain abbreviations that people use in their careers, like DNR (do not revive), DNS (Domain Name Service), and HSPDA (High Speed Packet Data Access). Others are just outright misinterpretations, like “LUL,” which appears to mean “lame, awkward laugh,” and “LOLOL,” translated as “lots of laughter.” If there’s a more recent guide, I’d love to see how things have changed – and if the agents have any idea how to understand how to bypass the moderation filter”algo language.”
In any case, however, I did find some abbreviations that I might want to use, like IAMA (I’m mildly amused) and maybe even LIMB (laughing in my head).
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/18/23030750/fbi-83-page-guide-internet-speak Today I found out that the FBI has an 83-page guide to internet language