The FBI Understands Youth Internet Babble

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 18 2014 11:55 AM

The FBI Understands Youth Internet Babble

slang
Kids these days, amirite?

Image from Shutterstock/AR Images.

The Secret Service may have sarcasm-detecting software, but the FBI is hip to the haps, too. The agency has its own 3,000-term Internet slang dictionary. There's nothing better for staying current than going through an 83-page internal document to look up "n00b."

The document surfaced over the weekend thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by the government transparency group, MuckRock, which posted a PDF of the FBI's “Twitter shorthand” document. But this isn't just Twitter talk. The FBI’s Intelligence Research Support Unit notes in its introduction to the document that it's exploring all sorts of Internet slang in the document from sources as diverse as “instant messages, Facebook and Myspace.” Honestly, all of us could probably use a refresher on Myspace lingo at this point. It's been awhile!

Advertisement

The document is a serious compendium for serious FBI work, but also “for keeping up with your children and/or grandchildren.” If the FBI wasn't known for promoting work-life balance before, it should be now.

Entries include AYFKMWTS, “are you f—— kidding me with this s—?”, which has been tweeted 990 times, BOGSAT, “bunch of guys sitting around talking”, which has (inexplicably) been tweeted 144 times, BTDTGTTSAWIO, “been there, done that, got the T-shirt and wore it out,” which has been tweeted 47 times, and WAPCE, “women are pure concentrated evil,” which has been tweeted 233 times. Delightful! The verbal crutches of the young generation in a nutshell.

To be fair, it's a huge list and a lot of the terms, like "crunk" (crazy and drunk) and "LMAO" (laughing my ass off) are legit (legitimate). Get after it, FBI.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.