Slanguage Anyone? A Comedic Modern Guide to Code Breaking Texting Lingo

Comedian Gail Forrest wrestles with slang acronyms and cracks the code to decipher all those dating profiles

I studied French in high school and when I realized my accent would actually scare people I gave it up for Spanish. Spanish is so much easier to pronounce and not get laughed at.  I didn’t continue with Spanish but can stumble my way through ordering tapas. I did excel at parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, similes, metaphors, acronyms, etc. I loved English class and always got an A. 

I am, however, flunking the new part of speech: slang acronyms. It’s everywhere: text messages, emails, and in conversation, YGTI. A new language has taken root and I am dazed and ignorant. Slang acronym boggles my mind and, truthfully, at times pisses me off. I’m not a code cracker, but an aging English major. 

Slang acronym boggles my mind and, truthfully, at times pisses me off

Statistically speaking, GenZ uses slang acronyms in 62% of their messages, millennials 56%, GenX 48% and baby boomers 26%. Why do boomers use it less frequently? Because speaking initials is cheating and lazy and we’re smarter IMO.  

I’m a sports junkie and when I watched the 2020 documentary “The Last Dance” about the Bulls I got angry when I heard other players calling Michael Jordan a Goat. Excuse me, he was not a Goat! He was  dazzling! That really made me mad until I found out it meant the Greatest of All Time. Get it? I didn’t. Who decided that? Is there an official acronym decider? Speaking of sports, I also thought IRL meant “injured reserve list.” Again, much to my chagrin it doesn’t reference an injured athlete but means “in real life.” As opposed to not in real life? IDK what’s going on.

For the longest time I thought LOL meant lots of love… after all, it could be read that way.   It makes me nuts when it’s used over and over in a paragraph or text as a way to be hip or funny. I got an email from a man I met on Match who literally ended every sentence with LOL….every single freaking sentence. Nothing in the email was even remotely amusing. The urge to scream, “Get a thesaurus and find some real words” was overwhelming. We definitely were not MFEO.

The urge to scream, “Get a thesaurus and find some real words” was overwhelming

On dating sites the profiles are filled with men who speak acronym and, once again, it took time and effort to decipher what they were trying to get across. “Looking for a LTR” shows up a lot. What is he looking for and what does that have to do with dating? Finally a light bulb went off and I cracked the code. I’m slow at this initial speak. Writing out “long term relationship” does shorten your life by approximately four seconds. LMAO.

BFF has been around forever and now part of the vernacular so I am no longer stumped by that one.  I admit I use it, but sparingly. I intersperse it with “bestie” which sounds very senior year in high school, but sweet. Thankfully, my BFFs still speak and write in English.  FOMO is everywhere. I read an article about it in the New York Times. For journalists paid by the word I wonder if it counts as one or four? FOMO is stressful and anxiety inducing but seemingly rampant in this culture of envy. Was the exponential rise of Bitcoin due to FOMO? I think so. And I have to confess I bought some for that exact reason.  

One of the biggest lessons learned during the nightmare months of Covid was YOLO. Again I have to ask: Is there an official acronym decider? Is Zuckerberg behind this? YOLO is the new national mantra. You get one tour of duty on this planet and we all witnessed it can end in a nanosecond. TBH that did scare the shit out of me. So carpe diem….that’s Latin, BTW.

Is there an official acronym decider? Is Zuckerberg behind this?

I’m guilty of using OMG a lot. It’s easy, exclamatory, and I know what it means. I also don’t have to have the debate with myself about whether or not to capitalize the word God/god. Could someone clear this up for me? LMK right away if possible.

I think what is great about this is you can just make up your own slang acronyms. You can’t possibly be right or wrong if you know the letter a word starts with. INTH, ACDI.  Maybe it will become a pseudo language like Klingon was for Trekkies.  

OTOH I think I will stick to the English language and feel proud I can order tapas in Spanish. B4N.



YGTI – you get the idea

IMO – in my opinion

GOAT – greatest of all time

IRL – in real life

IDK – I don’t know

MFEO – made for each other

YOLO – you only live once

BFF – best friends forever

LMAO –  laughing my ass off

TBH – to be honest

FOMO – Fear of missing out

OMG – oh my God

LMK – let me know

INTH – It’s not that hard

ACDI – anyone can do it                           

OTOH – on the other hand

B4N –  bye for now

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. I believe aging well is related to how well you’re doing. That is, if you were or are a writer–write! A painter? Paint! Successful business executive–see if you can guest lecture at a nearby college; or mentor young businesspeople. Two favorite quotes: Noel Coward’s great one: Work is much more fun than fun. And another anonymous: The band won’t stop playing till you stop dancing.

  2. Oh yea… thank you for this one Gail. There were a few IDNK ( I did not know). I still write most everything out though …

  3. Ha ha! I definitely had to use your key, at the end of your blog😂! Had no clue about most of these! I, like you, prefer using actual words. As usual though, you had me LMAO! Thank you, once again, for the giggles🤣!

  4. I’ve learned several from my teenage granddaughter! I really hated to ask, too, ‘cause then she made fun of me for not knowing! lol


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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