EMOTICONS Just in case you still don't know what :) means....

Chatting with each other via text on a screen has a few limitations: You can't hear tone of voice or see body language, and typing is slower than talking. (On the other hand, it's not considered gauche to chat in your underwear, which does tend to get you talked about in face-to-face encounters.) To help clarify and express emotions, many chatters use emoticons, or characters which represent a facial expression. They also use acronyms for commonly-used phrases. The ones most often seen in the O*W*C are below. If you see a symbol you don't understand, just ask. Someone will be happy to explain.

:DSmile/laughing/big grin
:XMy lips are sealed/Not speaking
{ }A hug (the more brackets, the more affectionate and bigger the hug)
:oMild surprise ("uh oh!")
=:oGreater surprise (the longer the "hair," the greater the surprise)
:(Frown/sad face
:/Disappointment, chagrin, or skepticism
>:(Anger or annoyance
:PSticking out tongue
Noses are sometimes added to the faces with the - or the ^. For example, :-) or :^)
o/~A musical note (often used to show song lyrics)
:::action:::Performing that action (ex: :::kissing Mickey:::)
<--An arrow, referring to item, often used to refer to self.
::poof::Signing off
wrd=wordA correction to a misspelled word that was previously typed
<G>Big Grin
<g>Little Grin
A/S/LAge/Sex/Location. A request to have all of the chatters give their age, gender, and location. This is actively discouraged in the O*W*C. See our Etiquette page for more details.
AFAIKAs Far As I Know
AFKAway From Keyboard
BAKBack At Keyboard
BRBBe Right Back
BTWBy The Way
FWIWFor What It's Worth
GMTAGreat Minds Think Alike
IMHOIn My Humble Opinion
J/KJust Kidding
LOLLaughing Out Loud
LTNSLong Time No See
ROFLRolling On Floor Laughing
TIAThanks In Advance
WBWelcome Back
Re's or Rehi!Hello again!
Pictures: Some members have become creative and found ways of creating recognizable visual representations with plain text. These are acceptable in moderation.
c[_]Cup of coffee or hot chocolate
c{_}Mug of beer or ale
YGlass of wine
@@@@@Cinnamon buns
|> |> |> |> |>Pizza slices or pieces of cake
ii i i ii iiiCandles
--`-,--`,--@A rose
<:>==Squid! (You'll probably encounter lots of these)

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