Netiquette, or how to behave like a civilized human online, is an important part of interacting with others on the Internet (Bradley, 2009). These interactions can be confusing when the person you’re talking to uses symbols, acronyms, or jargon you don’t know.
This is where sites like NetLingo come in. I found NetLingo when I ran across the acronym AFAIK in a message. Although I’m usually really good at figuring out acronyms, I rarely get them right. For example. as far as I knew, AFAIK might mean Asiatic Flamingos Annoying Incoming Kickboxers or Always Free Aggravated Iguanas Kindly or even Amiable Friends Accept Intense Knowledge. Great definitions, right? Unfortunately, I knew they were wrong because they made no sense in context. A quick trip to a search engine brought me to NetLingo where I finally got my answer: As Far As I Know. See? So much better.
NetLingo has several handy features including a list of common acronyms with their meanings, a jargon dictionary, and a list of emoticons. This site can be a very helpful resource for students, particularly non-traditional students, who may be less technologically savvy.
Some of the information on the site is old. The smilies list, for example, was almost identical to the version I had in the mid-1980s when I was doing dial-up Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs). Still, for the more tech-experienced student, there are still some handy resources like a color guide that shows a block of the color and gives the necessary color codes in both hex and decimal values. Those could be handy when designing a webpage.
One fair warning, though, some of the content on NetLingo is definitely NSFW (Not Suitable For Work). Some of the texting acronyms and other terminology can be a bit crude. It’s a handy resource, but use with caution.
Bradley, S. (2009). The impact of netiquette on online group work: A study of UK Open University students. In O. Kallioinen (Ed.), Learning by developing—New ways to learn 2009 conference proceedings (pp. 152–167). Espoo, Finland: Laurea University of Applied Sciences.