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Q: When should I use chat slang?

A: Chat slang has many uses. Acronyms, abbreviations, and other slang terms can help you save time and space when communicating with others. However, some situations are more appropriate than others for using chat slang. Below are examples of appropriate and inappropriate uses of chat slang.

Appropriate Uses

  • Instant Messaging - Type faster messages and responses to other online users.
  • Text Messaging - Shorten your text messages to stay within the 160 character SMS limit.
  • Facebook - Leave your own unique and personalized comments to friends.
  • Twitter - Use abbreviations to say a lot in less than 140 characters.
  • Blogs - Express yourself in your own unique way on the Web.
  • E-mail - Write faster, more efficient e-mails to friends and family members.
  • Web Forums - Save time when posting messages in online discussion forums.

Inappropriate Uses

  • School Assignments - Papers and other assignments should not contain any chat slang.
  • Research Papers - Using slang terms may detract from the credibility of your paper.
  • Job-related E-mails - It is typically considered unprofessional to use chat slang at work.
  • Formal Text Messages - Only use acronyms when texting friends and family members.
  • Business Websites - Online chat slang is best left for blogs and personal websites.
  • Business Documents - Professional and work documents should not include chat slang.
  • Resumes - If you want the job, don't use abbreviations in your resume!

Since chat slang is considered informal, acronyms and abbreviations should not be used for school assignments or in formal correspondence. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class, using chat acronyms will detract from the impact of the paper and may not be understood by the reader. Therefore, chat slang does not belong in assignments. Similarly, if you are writing a work-related e-mail, using abbreviations will make your message seem less professional and may detract from your credibility.

Remember!

It is important to remember that people may not know what your acronyms and abbreviations mean. After all, that's why ChatSlang.com was created. Therefore, it is best to write out important phrases in case the other person does not know what your acronyms or abbreviations mean. This can help avoid miscommunication, which is especially important with people you don't know very well.

Summary

To summarize, chat slang can be a great time-saver when used correctly. It is a useful tool in the fast-paced information age we live in. Just make sure to think about who your audience is before incorporating any acronyms or abbreviations. After all, your teacher or employer may not be able to decipher your slang terms as easily as your friends can. ;-)

Updated: October 12, 2011