The invention of SMS more than 25 years ago changed the nature of our daily communication: In order to accommodate as much as possible in the maximum available 160 characters, creativity in shortening words and complete sentences was required. Today, abbreviations and smileys are an integral part of text messages, instant messages, chats and emails. Typed quickly, they save time – provided the reader knows the meaning of the English expressions. The ten most important English abbreviations are explained here.
The abbreviation for by the way introduces something that is not related to the actual topic or is incidental - but nevertheless important enough for a brief mention.
FYI stands for for your information. The expression is also often used in business emails and means that the recipient should take note of the content but does not have to reply to it.
No one can know everything, so IDK is a popular abbreviation for ignorance: it's short for I don't know. At least this gap in knowledge has been filled...
If you express your personal opinion and not facts, you should put this abbreviation in front of or append to the text. The letter combination means in my opinion ("in my opinion") or in my humble opinion ("in my humble opinion").
If you don't mean a sentence seriously, you can add a short jk. With just kidding ("not meant seriously" / "just kidding"), the lyricist affirms that what was said was meant as a joke and thus avoids misunderstandings.
Numbers are often used as abbreviations in English: 2 or 4 are often used instead of to/too or for, which sound almost identical. L8R stands for later ("later") and is often used as a parting formula. A variant of this is CUL8R for see you later ("see you later").
Anyone who says thank you for something – often in short form with thx for thanks (“thank you”) – often receives an equally short np as an answer: no problem (“no problem”/“you’re welcome”).
Sometimes something suddenly comes up while chatting. A short TTYL for talk to you later ("we'll talk more later") and the other person knows immediately what's going on. A popular alternative is TBC for to be continued.
Some details can even be kept secret between friends: TMI is the abbreviation for too much information ("too much information"). Sending this printout signals to the interlocutor that they should have kept the intimate or unsavory details to themselves.
This abbreviation means think positive (“think positive” / “stay optimistic”): A pep talk in chats and text messages when things aren't going according to plan at the moment.
In addition to abbreviations, regionally known phrases or colloquial terms are often included in short messages. For example, if you chat with friends from England or write emails, you can find out more about the most popular dialects on the island and their special expressions here.