Net Surfing Simplified

On the busy, crowded and rough super-highway that we call the Internet, understanding a few useful terms can make you more Net savvy. The following tips are geared toward recreational services on the Internet like web sites, bulletin boards and chat. If you are into hacking or programming you may additionally need the “Big Bad Book for Internet Junkies” (That was a joke, there is no such thing. A trip to library or a good search engine may yield better results.)—BY: Rashid Farook (that would be my husband!)

Common Internet Services

Web: Short for the “World Wide Web” or www. No, this has no relation to the spider web in those Internet junkies’ basements. It refers to the network built on one of several protocols that created the Internet. The Web is built on the HTTP protocol. Almost everything you see through your Internet Explorer or Netscape software is on the Web.

Web Browser: Just your Internet Explorer/Netscape/Google Chrome/Mozilla Firefox… application. Basically the software you use in your computer to get on the Web. It’s the Big-E (Internet Explorer) or Big-N (Netscape Navigator) and/or a Big blue round thingy with a Fox wrapped around it (Mozilla Firefox)….or a Big round green, yellow and red thingy (Google Chrome–we use this one!), with a icon you see in the Desktop.

Bulletin Board: Also known as discussion forum or BBS. A place to read other peoples’ messages. You can also post reply or your own messages for everyone else to see. This sounds innocent enough but wait till you see some BBS in action! People use all sorts of lingo-s in these boards to get their point across (which in most cases are ignored by arguing fellow posters). Common sense and avoiding use of foul language can help you get more out of Bulletin Boards. Also since there are thousands of them, pick ones that deal with topics that are interesting to you. Moderated (which typically means you can’t curse your way out of a debate) discussion forums are typically more enjoyable. Yahoogroups is an example (http://www.yahoogroups.com) is a discussion forum community that has thousands of groups. You can even start your own group there!

Chat room: This is a fun place or the root of all evil – depending on your perspective! You can think of a chat room as a clubhouse in the cyber world where people come to exchange messages in real time. That means, unlike bulletin boards you can instantly view and reply to messages from one or many users on the Internet. This makes communication quiet interactive. Let me assure you these messages do not just contain mundane comments on the weather. Many chat rooms now have Audio capability so you can also “talk” to other people. Some also offers “video” capability so you can see other people or let them see you.

Instant Messenger: Also known as “IM”. This is an application very much like chat rooms, but mostly used on a one-to-one basis. Instant Messengers are like cell phones in the cyber world. They keep you in touch with your friends when they come online, They also offer better capability with video and audio chat, sending pictures etc…

Common Internet Lingo

Some words are abbreviated (or malformed!) and frequently used in chatrooms, IM and BBS. Knowing them typically will help you understand if someone is fond of you or fond of making fun of you!

These are some of my FAVORITES:

LOL: Laugh Out Loud. Typically used as a response to something funny.

ASL: Age/Sex/Location. A frequently asked question by annoying chatroom users desperately looking for dates online (No these people are too dumb or don’t care about the absurdity of doing so. Besides in a Deshi chatroom where there are many newbies who knows they might get lucky!). Typically the chatter asking the question immediately stops communicating if your response matches his (it’s almost never a she!) own gender.

BRB: Be right back. Typically said by a concerned chatter who has to leave the chatroom or stop chatting because the chatter’s Boss/ Colleague/ Spouse/ Boyfriend/ Girlfriend/ Kid/ Parent/ Uncle/ Kajer Bua/ Annoying friends or an alien (kidding!) has arrived.

Lag: Slow connection. You will know this is happening when chatter replies to your greeting after you have welcomed, shouted and kicked (chatwise) and gave up on him and joined other conversations. Don’t confuse this though with a situation when the chatter has been interrupted before being able to say BRB. Lag can happen due to several reason so don’t go kicking and screaming on your “lightning fast” broadband provider because your net GF has left the room thinking you died! The chat server itself maybe slow. Who knows, the server admin. May have spilled coffee on the box (now that would be really bad, although be assured your monitor won’t turn chocolate or melt away!). Also the other chatter(s) may have a slow connection. However be assured that if you are using the “shared” broadband wannabe ISPs that recently cropped up in Dhaka then you (and no one else) is lagging.

WB: Welcome Back. Typically friends would greet a fellow chatter with this when he/she is available again after the party forcing the BRB status has left the premises (apparently!)

Re: Reply. If you see this in front of a BBS posting that indicates it is a reply (mostly saying the original poster is wrong or a fool) to a previous posting. If you see someone using it in front of chatroom messages they have probably spent way too much time on Bulletin Boards.

Upper Case: Say something aloud. If you see messages in all uppercase typically it means shouting or saying something loudly. On a rare occasion it is possible that the chatters/posters CAPS LOCK button is stuck after he/she spilled drinks on the keyboard as a reaction to an online (most likely indecent) proposal. Suggest this to them and they will either comply turning it off or just ignore/mute you (either way you are better off than before!)

Other Common Internet Lingos:

2moro – Tomorrow
2nite – Tonight
BTW – By The Way
B4N – Bye For Now
BCNU – Be Seeing You
BFF – Best Friends Forever
CYA – Cover Your Ass -or- See Ya
DBEYR – Don’t Believe Everything You Read
DILLIGAS – (one of my faves) Do I Look Like I Give A Sh**
FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, and Disinformation (I still does not know when this is used!)
FWIW – For What It’s Worth
GR8 – Great
ILY – I Love You
IMHO – In My Humble/Honest Opinion
IRL – In Real Life (if your’e familiar with virtual reality like SECOND LIFE, this is helpful)
ISO – In Search Of
J/K – Just Kidding
L8R – Later
LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off
LOL – Laughing Out Loud -or- Lots of Love ( don’t use this when somebody dies and you show your love to the family… “Condolence– LOL!” you might get a kick in the bottom!
LYLAS – Love You Like A Sister
MHOTY – My Hat’s Off To You
NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard
NP – No Problem -or- Nosy Parents
NUB – New person to a site or game
OIC – Oh, I See
OMG – Oh My God
OT – Off Topic
POV – Point Of View
RBTL – Read Between The Lines
ROTFLMAO – Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off (i don’t really think this ACTUALLY happens!)
RT – Real Time
THX or TX or THKS – Thanks
SH – Sh** Happens
SITD – Still In The Dark
SOL – Sh** Out of Luck
STBY – Sucks To Be You
SWAK – Sealed (or Sent) With A Kiss
TFH – Thread From Hell (this is overrated!)
RTM or RTFM – Read The Manual -or- Read The F***ing Manual
TLC – Tender Loving Care
TMI – Too Much Information
TTYL – Talk To You Later -or- Type To You Later
TYVM – Thank You Very Much
VBG – Very Big Grin
WEG – Wicked Evil Grin
WTF – What The F***
WYWH – Wish You Were Here
XOXO – Hugs and Kisses

and my own little addition:

O&O – Over and Out

A Joint Efforts by:

Rashid Farook and Glenda M-Farook!

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