Abbreviated Communication Breakdown

Abbreviation Glossary

(Little Utopia)

In this age of ever-changing digital communication, I find myself feeling overwhelmed and kind of exhausted trying to keep up. Within this realm, one of the things that has always perplexed me is the advent of abbreviated communication. I often find myself reading a post, text, or instant message and having to Google “what does NBD mean” (inevitably I’m led to Urban Dictionary, and before I know it a portion of my day is gone as I get consumed into that black hole). I shall now explore a couple of these abbreviations:


In the corporate lexicon no abbreviation is more ubiquitous than ASAP. This is not applicable to pop culture but being #boutdatworklife (you like what I did there?) this is one I come into contact with on a frustratingly regular basis. Instead of fully typing out “as soon as possible,” the saving of a few key strokes transforms a request into an absolute sense of ass-on-fire urgency — all of the projects you’re working on be damned.

ASAP means you drop what you’re doing and bend to the sender’s every whim, and if it’s sent in an email with the urgent tag of multiple exclamations attached to it … man … may Yahweh have mercy! It’s as if you hold the cure for cancer or the key to world peace or the ultimate meaning of life, but in reality, it’s a proposal on how best to reach the crucial demographic of women 25 to 54 and convince them that they MUST dispose of their in-disposable income en masse! Until you unearth this treasure-trove of capitalist secrets you are not to leave your cubed cell, and if it’s received while you are “offline,” your dreams will surely be haunted. But then what to do about the other requests that have to be done ASAP?

See also: FYI, EOD/COB and a multitude of other inane buzzwords/phrases


As the original text/instant message abbreviation, LOL has grown to encompass so much more than laughing out loud. Some people just habitually use it as a sign off for any and all communiqué no matter the usage, subject matter, and/or misspellings. Honestly, this one is an obvious target, but it still sticks in my craw each time I see it used and thus merits mentioning.

See also: LMAO and its F bomb, ROTFL and B or BB variants


At first I thought this meant “scratching my head,” which symbolizes confusion. So, when I first tried my hand at throwing this into “conversation,” I’m sure I had people really shaking their head. Either scratching or shaking of my head is a pretty apt way to describe how geriatric I feel when it comes to this subject.


This is the abbreviation most amusing to me. When I see “k” used in place of “okay,” my mind pictures a lazy teenage girl who painfully and succinctly acknowledges her parents’ demand to get off the phone and do her homework. It’s surprising how many grown men I’ve observed using this in text or email correspondence.

Honorable Mentions:

OMG and its F variant, BRB, BTW, IDK, Totes (not an abbreviation but same principle applies — 80s valley girls have got to be so “totally” pissed by this time saver version of their calling card), H.A.M. (If you don’t know you probably should ask somebody)

There are so many other examples, but you get my drift. So after years of observation vacillating between curiosity and rage I’ve decided to “join `em” and offer a few of my own creations.


Laugh to Myself — Used when laughing out loud is not appropriate. Example: My boss totally has a booger hanging out of his nose LTM (a LOL would not be appropriate in this situation, right?)

See also: GLASG (Giggle Like a School Girl) or LTKFC (Laugh to Keep From Crying)


Chin in Hand — Used to appropriately express life’s great dilemmas, an offshoot of hmmm. Example: Tastes Great or Less Filling? CIH


Kiss My Ass — Used to … well … this speaks for itself really.

See also: KMOA (Kiss My Old Ass) which I’ve actually used a few times

So what’s the verdict? Are my contributions considered FTW worthy or is this just so much #Fail?



P.S. I miss beeper codes.


EvanWixEvan Wix (@EvanWix) is a guest contributor for Little Utopia.

Previously from Evan Wix:
Epiphanies with a Crazy Cat Lady

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s