Mango's Guide to Digital Language

August 12, 2014 / by Jillian Rodriguez

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If there’s one thing we take pride in, it’s our knowledge of languages. Far and wide, popular and obscure; we keep up with all of them. The Digital Age is upon us, and we’re all for increasing our literacy in the language of the inter-webs.

We’ll admit it – we’re still consulting Urban Dictionary and our teenage nieces from time to time, but we’re getting the hang of online lingo slowly but surely. However absurd, we’re committed to bringing you the latest in invented languages and linguistic creativity, in all of its crazy forms.

Often mind-boggling, sometimes cringeworthy, and always changing, we’re rolling with the punches and keeping tabs on the wild world of English-speaking internet lingo. IDK if it will be totally different in a week’s time; but IMHO (IOHO?), these are the need-to-know trends dominating the World Wide Web these days.

1. IMHO – Translated to “in my humble opinion,” this acronym is used to express a personal opinion and distinguish it from fact. Sometimes used in conjunction with SMH (Shaking My Head), IMHO can also be used to soften the blow of a not-so-humble opinion.

2. ILY – We love you, too. ILY (I Love You) is an easy way to cut to the chase and show you care in just three letters. And if you really love someone, use “ILYSM” (I Love You So Much) and win the prize for modern romance. We’re all for another way to share the love, even if it is short and sweet.

3. IRL – An acronym that would’ve served little purpose thirty years ago, IRL (In Real Life) is cropping up online, in print, and in correspondence to differentiate between digital and in-person interactions. In a time when entire relationships can be carried out in the internet world, this phrase represents just how much the times are a-changin’.


4. Emojis – Emojis are so widely popular that they’ve earned the title of an official language among many Smartphone keyboards. Originating in Japan, the name literally means “picture” + “character” (emoji). Use Emojis to swiftly express emotions that would otherwise require several sentences of explanation. For example, Heart Face Cat + Confetti Horn + Bag of Money = Promotion at work. It’s simple.

5. NSFW – Back away slowly. Consider this term fair warning: the following contents are Not Safe for Work. Used as a prelude to graphic materials of every variety, we’re extremely grateful that this universal heads-up is now a widely utilized term. Anything goes in the topsy-turvy internet world, and the NSFW label is one way to avoid an unpleasant click-through. We highly recommend you memorize this warning and take heed on your next tumble through your newsfeed.

6. TBT – We can thank millennials for this one. The Instagram generation invented the trend of posting nostalgic photos with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday (TBT) on social media outlets. If you’re on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you’ve likely seen photos from just last year or forty years ago posted with “TBT” in the caption. With over 23 million tags on Instagram, you might as well jump on this old-school bandwagon. Break out your cutest baby photo and send it into cyberspace to receive your long overdue digital accolades.

7. Autocorrect – This one’s not so much a trend as it is an entire linguistic phenomenon. Smartphones everywhere are uniting in an attempt to invent a new language, based entirely off of nonsensical syntax and embarrassment. Autocorrect automatically makes changes in spelling and grammar mistakes made while typing, and usually opts for the most obscure, controversial, or humiliating words in the English language. If you’re texting your grandparents, boss, or religious leaders, autocorrect is by your side, making outrageous edits exactly as you press send. It’s an autocorrect world, we just live in it.

8. Caturday – We wish we could take credit for this one. Another genius invention of the Internet, Caturday is the new Saturday. Every weekend, cat lovers take to the internet to post hilarious and adorable cat photos of every variety. If you’re still calling it Saturday, you’re missing out. Many a Mango has partaken in the Caturday madness, and we want you to join in on the fun.

We’re still working on Mango Monday, but we’ll make it happen. In these digital days, it’s just a matter of time.

Topics: Mango News

Jillian Rodriguez

Written by Jillian Rodriguez

Jillian is a writer and editor out of Detroit, Michigan. She loves connecting people through new ideas, interesting stories, and good conversation. In her free time, Jillian loves to read, write, and listen to podcasts - in Spanish and in English!

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