RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 25 18:08:01 UTC 2006

I just read a story in the Orlando Sentinel today (''Do you speak Net? Web 
site ansswers parentes' SOS" (reprinted from the Stamford Advocate) about a web 
site called The site has an online dictionary of acronyms, 
abbreviations, etc., as well as a glossary for smiley faces. The owner of the site, 
Erin Jansen, has a couple of Masters degrees in psychology,   and she seems 
very clever about getting publicity for the site. Moreover, it at least seems 
(after a quick look) to deliver the goods.

The methodology seems to be essentially that of Wikipedia, though one assumes 
that, like regular lexicographers, she looks at the works of others as well. 
She says nothing on the web site about her methodology, except that she asks 
for submissions which will be "reviewed" and may or may not get added to the 

One thing that troubles me is that she speaks authoritatively about 
etymologies (in a general sort of way): "... most teens do not use sexual predatory 
language with each other. 'These acronyms are from the adults,' Jansen says. 
'They are the ones teaching the kids TDTM [Talk Dirty to Me] or IWSN [I want sex 
now]. ¶ "But adult acronyms are making trhier way into this teen-speak,' she 

How does she know this? How can she get access to teens' IMs and text 
messages? Or is she merely extrapolating from blogs? And/or just guessing?

If anybody has access to teen-to-teen IMs and text messages I'd love to have 
access, too!

Does anyone have any information or opinion about Has the 
site been reviewed by professional lexicographers? It seems to me this would 
be a great review for AMERICAN SPEECH and/or DICTIONARIES.

The American Dialect Society -

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