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Computing With Bifocals
by Nancy Carroll Gravley

A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....

Nancy's Guide To Internet/Web/Chat Abbreviations
October 12th, 2000

I well remember the first time I got an e-mail message containing a set of letters that I knew must be an abbreviation for something because of the context in which they were used. I was on AOL at the time and I suddenly found myself wondering what was going on. I didn't know if someone was cussing me out, making a pass, or just saying something normal that everyone understood. The message turned out to be quite harmless. It was "LOL" which can mean either "laughing out loud" or "lots of laughs."

I thought it might be helpful to list some of the more frequently used abbreviations. However, lest anyone think I spend a lot of time in chat rooms, I want to make it perfectly clear that I gathered these from my children and from searching the net. My primary source was These are just a smattering of what you may see, and are limited to: a) friendly or semi-friendly messages, and b) those fit to print. The use of abbreviations has spread to many venues on the internet. I would love it if readers would submit additional abbreviations that I have not included.



ADN Any day now
AFAIK As far as I know
AFK Away from keyboard
A/S/L? Age/Sex/Location?
B4N Bye for now
BAK Back at the keyboard
BIAB Be back in a bit
BG Big grin
BL Belly laughing
BOTEC Back of the envelope calculation
BRB Be right back
BTA But then again....
BWTHDIK But what the heck do i know...?
CU See you
CUL See you later
DIKU Do I know you?
DQMOT Don't quote me on this?
EOM  End of message
F2F  Face to face
FISH First in, still here
FOMCL  Falling off my chair laughing
FWIW For what it's worth
G Grin
GIWIST  Gee, I wish I'd said that
GMTA Great minds think alike
GOL Giggling out loud
GTRM Going to read mail
HAND Have a nice day
HTH Hope this helps
IAC In any case
IC I see
IHA I hate acronyms
ILU or ILY  I love you
IM Immediate message
IMO In my opinion
IOW In other words
IRL In real life
IYSWIM  If you see what I mean
JIC Just in case



L8R Later  
LD Later, dude  
LLTA   Lots and lots of thunderous applause 
LOL  Laughing out loud or Lots of Laughs 
LTNS Long time no see   
LTR Long-term relationship   
MUSM Miss you so much   
NP or N/P   No problem 
NRN   No response necessary 
OIC   Oh, I see  
OTTOMH Off the top of my head   
PANS Pretty awesome new stuff  
PDA   Public display of affection  
PIBKAC Problem is between keyboard and chair 
::POOF::   Goodbye (leaving the room)  
PU That stinks! 
ROTFL (or ROFL) Rolling on the floor laughing   
RTM  Read the manual 
RYO Roll your own (write your own program)  
TAFN That's all for now   
TANSTAAFL There ain't no such thing as a free lunch   
THX Thanks 
TIA Thanks in advance (used if you post a question and are expecting a helpful reply)  
TTFN Ta-Ta for now  
TTT   Thought that, too 
TTYL   Talk to you later  
TU   Thank you  
UW  You're welcome
VBG  Very big grin 
WDALYIC Who died and left you in charge?  
WFM Works for me   
WIBNI Wouldn't it be nice if   
WTG Way to go!   
WTGP? Want to go private?  
WU? What's up?  
WUF? Where are you from?   

EZNote 1.5

EZNote is a shareware program (US $20) created by John V. Holder. I wrote about one of John's programs, KeySwapper, last week, and another, ScrapIt Pro, a few weeks ago. (see August 23rd column). EZNote allows you to jot down notes quickly, with just the touch of a key, and without leaving the application you are using. Among the attributes of EZNote are these: You can bring up a text editor instantly with one key stroke. You can quickly edit text on the clipboard. You can copy selected text from any application with one key stroke and store it for later reading or editing. You can keep commonly used text clippings for quick access. You can maintain a simple and easy to access address book and phone number list, and you can even keep a daily journal.

The application works on any Mac with OS 7 or above. You can download EZNote at John's home page. Once downloaded you will find the installation button on your desktop.

Double click on it and it will unstuff. (For information on stuffing and unstuffing please refer to the index for Computing With Bifocals.) Next drag the entire EZNote folder into your system folder (or save it there instead of your desktop). Click open the EZNote folder and drag the EZNote icon into the Control Panel Folder. Restart your computer and check to make sure the EZNote icon is displayed along the bottom of your screen with all the other extensions/control panels when you first start your Mac back up. If it is not, you have done something incorrectly. The easiest way to fix it is start over (said she, speaking from experience).

Open the Control Panel and click on EZNote so you can set it up.

EZNote Window

As with John's other applications, the directions are plentiful and easy to follow. You will start by designating which keys, or combination of keys, you wish to use to access the five options available with EZNote. Once you have set that up, you will simply have to push your chosen combination of keys to instantly open a new blank note or any of the other five options. The question mark in the example above contains all the directions you need.

Very briefly, here is what each option offers:

  • New blank note allows you to bring up a text editing window with no text so you can put in anything you want.
  • Copy Selection/Edit will first copy any text selected from the application you are currently in and bring up a text editing window with the selected text so you can edit the text and create a new note with it.
  • Get/Edit Notes brings up a window with a list of all the notes that you have.
  • Append Text/Edit will first copy any text selected from the application you are currently in and bring up a text editing window with the selected text so you may edit the text before appending it to a selected file in the Appendables category.
  • Append Selection will copy any text selected from the application you are currently in and will append it to the last file you had appended to in the Appendables category.
  • The preferences allow you to designate a number of extras, such as automatic insertion of date and time, sound on or off, icon at start up, etc., as well as choosing font style and size which can be a big advantage to some readers.

Depending on your own needs and interests, this application offers numerous options and it should be well worth your time to download it and try it out.

If you have ideas related to using your Macintosh for the upcoming holidays that others would like, please take a moment to write me about them.

Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions  for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping.   To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.

Post your comments below.
Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!

A Capacious Catalog Of Computer Tips

Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color, covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.

Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.

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