Network jargon

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Network jargon is not limited to virtual space

In data networks , a network jargon based on IRC and Usenet has established itself as an integral part of network culture . Using examples, this article describes some typical forms of Internet jargon, often acronyms , which are used in German-speaking newsgroups , chat rooms and Internet forums . The reference for the English-language (original) version is the jargon file .

Expression of emotions

The net jargon is characterized above all by the fact that it is a language that can very accurately and concisely add feelings or any ulterior motives (such as irony) to the actual text content. In this way, communication problems or the risk of misunderstandings in relation to spoken language can be partially compensated. On the one hand, emoticons that are modeled on the smiley can help . On the other hand, the action grammar is increasingly helpful, which can use inflective to express more complex feelings or actions succinctly and aptly.

Acronyms and Spelling

In order to be able to type words faster or to avoid umlauts, which are not available on some keyboards, the spelling on the net is often drastically ignored.

Talk mode

Time and the ease of keystrokes is an important factor in chat rooms , which is why many writers use abbreviations . In this way, feelings such as joy can be expressed quickly.

In general, such abbreviations are written with lowercase letters in order to save the shift key on the keyboard . As a rule, the first letters of the words occurring in the (mostly English) idiom are appended to one another or a simple abbreviation is formed, as in ack for acknowledged ("confirmed"), or homophonic abbreviations are used, such as 2 for to or too , and 4 for for . Since the "Talk Mode" is not particularly suitable for expressing moods and feelings, it is replaced by emoticons in many areas .


Here, some letters are replaced by similar-looking numbers or special characters. The following replacements are usually in use.

these characters 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9
replace this O / Q L / I R. E. AH S. G T B. G / P

“14m3” stands for “lame” = lame / inadequate. Alternatively, numbers or letters are used according to their (mostly English) pronunciation. Likewise, in "Leetspeak" similar sounding letters are mutually replaced or recast with suitable characters. For example, the “plural s” is replaced by “z”, as in warez . The "W" becomes (with twice / and twice \) to "\ / \ /" or "L" to "| _".

Substitutions after the sound are 2 = to (zu) or too, 4 = for (for), 8 = ate (as part of "later" (later), "hate" (hate), "mate" (friend), " great “, B = be (to be), C = see (to see), I = eye (eye), O = oh! or O = owe (I owe him = "I owe him" [or] "I owe him"), R = are ([you] are, [you] are), U = you (you), Y = why (why?). A paraphrase for "Leetspeak" can take the form 13375p3 @ | <and again testifies to insider knowledge .

Asterisks (asterisks)

Two asterisks (*) mark the inflective between them . This makes it possible to include an activity or action by the author: * g * = "grin". Even complex, multi-part emotions or actions can be formed in this way, whereby the inflective verb is usually at the end of the sentence: * computer ausdemfensterschmeiß *. Usually, the parts of the sentence are not separated at all. ( "-") for readability, especially at longer set compilations, space, underscore or dash might as separators or medial capitals are used to structure.

This spelling originally comes from Usenet , where asterisks are used more to emphasize: “I've tried * countless times *; always unsuccessful! ". Some clients that interpret pairs of asterisks as accented characters display the words in between in bold. Alternatively, you can replace the asterisks with a plus sign “+” (as if you had released the Shift key too soon) to avoid these programs being automatically bolded .

The asterisk acronyms like * g * are mainly used in German-speaking countries, but increasingly went out of fashion in the early 2010s. They are much less common in English-speaking communication. Similar to how asterisks are used for bold fonts, leading and trailing underscores are used to indicate a _signature_ of the text passage.

The use of an asterisk in front of a sentence or word indicates that a previously misspelled sentence or word has been corrected. Example:

- It will snow today
- * will


Especially in Usenet newsgroups, sentences are set in HTML- like pseudo tags as stylistic devices . These pseudotags are of course not interpreted by the client, but are displayed, and are intended to give the reader information about how what is written is meant or should be interpreted. Often the opening day is left out, for reasons of savings or to only point out afterwards that the comment is meant ironically.

<irony mode = "sarcasm"> Wikipedia will never replace Brockhaus and Encyclopædia Britannica. </irony>

or simplified:

<Ironie> Wikipedia will never replace Brockhaus and the Encyclopædia Britannica. </Ironie>
< aol > Is used especially in English to mark particularly simple-minded comments, as AOL (formerly America Online) made it possible for many new users to use the Internet who previously had little or no experience with new media and in some cases also had a lower level of education had. </aol>

A similar form is common in the various Internet forums, which often do not allow HTML formatting by the writer. These are BBcode- like pseudotags .

[Irony] Wikipedia will never replace Brockhaus and the Encyclopædia Britannica. [/ Irony]


  • Rainer Geers: The language factor in infinite data (t) space. A linguistic view of dialogues in Internet relay chat . In: Bernd Naumann (Ed.): Dialogue analysis and the mass media . Proceedings of the international Conference, Erlangen, April 2–3, 1998. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-484-75020-0 , ( contributions to dialogue research 20), pp. 83-100.

Web links

Wiktionary: Net jargon  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Chats prove the opposite of speech decay , Die Zeit, January 14, 2013