Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Does That Mean?

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time trying to keep up with all the acronyms being bantered about on Twitter. Most of us have learned about RT (retweet-send someone's tweet out again), DM (direct message-send a tweet to just one person), PLN (personal learning network) and ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education). Since I wasn't into texting when I joined Twitter, I remember when I didn't know what LOL (laughing out loud), IMHO (in my humble opinion) or TIA (thanks in advance) meant. I actually asked on Twitter what LOL meant. Well, I guess I made more than one person LOL and I think I made a couple even ROFL (roll on the floor laughing). But, hey, at least I learned.

Since that time I've always asked when I don't know what an acronym means. Yes, I might make someone else roll their eyes or snicker under their breath when they see my tweet asking, but at least I will know what is being said.

When I blog I always write out the words for things like personal learning network the first time I use it, followed by the letters in parentheses (PLN), so that my reader will know what I'm talking about. My good friend, Beth Still, wrote a great blog post reminding us to spell out what we mean if we want to be understood.

I remember last summer reading a tweet from a member of my PLN that said, "I'm going OTG to spend more time with DH and DD." I had to DM (direct message) her and ask what she meant. Translation: I'm going off the grid (Twitter and other social media sites) to spend more time with dear husband and dear daughter.

Here is one of the responses I got when I asked my PLN on Twitter for some acronyms to help newbies. Funny thing is, I didn't know any of them. (LOL)

Just last week I told a member of my PLN to DM me and I would share the code to our LMS with her. She quickly tweeted back asking what an LMS is? And so she should. I answered her by explaining that an LMS is a learning management system. This occurred during an #edchat (educational chat) on Twitter and it is easy to talk in acronyms because you only have 140 characters to deliver your message. (I'll talk more about #edchats next time.)

I'd love to hear about some of the times you were left scratching your head and saying, "What does that mean?"

Others tweeting answers about acronyms @katiechoudhary, @jdornberg, @derrallg, and @marsacat.

(Cross posted on Tweachers.)