back to article Daddy-o, you're all wet... baffled by your own kids on the web - survey

Parents can't figure out what their kids are up to online because they're clueless about internet lingo, a new survey has found. The oldies are at a loss when children start chatting on about fraping or torrents and find textspeak acronyms like YOLO, LMIRL* and POS utterly impenetrable. (If Reg readers want to check how down …


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  1. JimmyPage Silver badge

    English acronyms ... only 26 letters

    means we're starting to see some duplication ... I thought "POS" meant "Piece Of Shit", and that kinda supplanted "Point Of Sale" ....

    Recently had an amusing experience when Mother in Law was signing off "LOL" thinking it meant "Lots Of Love". No real harm done, except when she said to her nephew on Facebook "Sorry you weren't too well, LOL" ...

    1. Maharg

      Re: English acronyms ... only 26 letters

      My dad had a similar issue when I was showing him facebook, he wondered why everyone kept stating their support for a Loyal Orange Lodge,

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: English acronyms ... only 26 letters

      After you've exhausted the TLAs move on to the ETLAs and the GBFLAs.

  2. Chika

    I'm uber-uber-l33t!

    Actually, no. I'm not. But given that a lot of the terms used have their origin in IRC l33tspeak or earlier, all I needed was a bit of an update on a couple of the terms.

  3. SirDigalot

    took the quiz

    the last page there is a quote:

    "Teens spend an average of 4 hours online each day"

    I lol'd so hard I pimp.

    that would be the average taking into account poor johnny/julietes not have a smartphone or computer at all and the rest of the generation who, if they are not making some inane post somewhere on the intarwebz are probably asleep.

    The kid came to us the other night and said she wanted more time on her computer at night, we lol'd at that considering she is on the computer from the minute she gets up (on summer vacation from school) till 9:30 at night when all phones and computers turn off...

    I find it even funnier when they yell on how to spell something, while at the computer, with numerous browsing tabs open, and not one on google or a dictionary site.

    I wouldn't mind but in our day it was a rush of endorphins just staying connected or even getting connected...

    <<<<<<<<<< the one with the rocks in the pocket for lunch after we walked up hill both ways to and from school in the dark with blazing sunshine during a torrential hailing rain storm with patches of snow and strong wind against us...pulling a cart load of coal...without wheels..

    1. taxman

      Re: took the quiz

      Oh those endorphin rushes when connecting.....and just hoping there wasn't a POS moment!

      It was worth it.....even it we did divorce later.

    2. Irony Deficient

      … and paid quizmaster for privilege.

      Luxury — we dreamed of wheel-less cart! &c.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I always thought NSFW stood for Not Safe in Front of Wife.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NSFW

      I'd heard it meant No Shit Fucking Weird, but wtf ;-)

      1. Miek

        Re: NSFW

        I always mistook NSFW for a forthcoming version of Need For Speed

        1. Gray Ham

          Re: NSFW

          Take pity on us (non-Sydney resident) Australians, who think it means New South !@#%ing Wales

  5. plrndl

    Parents can't figure out what their kids are up to

    Parents never could figure out what their kids were up to. Don't you remember being young?

    As long as parents try to control kids, kids will find ways to hide their activities, conversation etc from parental censorship. It's not that they're doing anything "wrong" (whatever that happens to mean in any given context) it that they want the right to self-determination like any other sentient being.

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Parents can't figure out what their kids are up to

      Surely your better off not knowing what they're up to anyway? So you can live in blissful ignorance.

    2. Steven Roper

      Re: Parents can't figure out what their kids are up to

      I can't say I bloody blame today's kids for wanting to hide their activities from their parents and other adults. Shit, I did as a kid, the last thing I wanted was for Dad to find out I was out egging cars and torching letterboxes...

      Today's kids have even more reason to hide their activities. When you read reports about kids being punished for hugging each other on school grounds and arrested for making snarky Facebook comments or merely eating a biscuit into the shape of a fucking gun, I wouldn't be surprised if the commonest emotion felt by our youth towards our politically-correct helicopter-parent generation was one of cold, unforgiving hatred and distrust. I certainly couldn't blame them for it if they did.

  6. vmistery

    Is it bad that at under 30 (just) I don't know half of them...

    1. VinceH Silver badge


      Is it worse that at 45, I did know almost all of them?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Question 4

    Correct answer is all of them are cause for concern. Listening to that stuff is more disturbing than how they're getting it.

    (now where's the old fart icon).

    1. AndyS

      Re: Question 4

      Well I suppose if they torrent it, then at least they're not wasting their money, so that one's ok.

      The "remember kidz, drugz r bad" bushitometer was strong with that quiz.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Question 4

        I was looking for the "All of the above" answer for Q4.

        But if they're torrenting it, you're right - they aren't wasting their money: They're wasting yours when you get a fine for the 17.65 quadzillion pounds lost by the music industry for that one song being downloaded, even if you then go out and buy it for the rugrat because the download failed. Because even then, they still lost that money. It was somehow diverted from their pockets and instead funded terrorists who want to steal cars.

        Or something.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge

    Question 5.

    Well, according to Farceberk, the correct answer should be; "Being on there in the first place.".

    I guess nobody believes their oh-so-holier-than-thou; "we don't allow kids on here" policy then?

  9. Andrew Jones 2

    I got one wrong which was the question about which of these actions could get your child into trouble - I was debating between "updating their friends status" and "creating 2 profiles" - I went for creating 2 profiles because I'm fairly sure that is specifically against the Facebook TOS - but apparently it is illegal to update your friends status without their permission, computer misuse and all that..... funny - if "frappers" start being arrested - we are going to need to at least tripple the number of police in this country.

    As for POS - how dare the "yoof" change the meaning of the word, it means "piece of shit" it does not mean "parents over shoulder" how many "yoofs" do you know who actually refer to their parents as parents anyway? Most kids I know call their parents their "folks" and as for parents over shoulder - surely they could come up with a better phrase,

    Finally why do they bother using acronyms anyway - as the majority of stuff written online (and probably offline) by kids and even 20 year olds these days - sadly - is just littered with bad grammar, missing letters, incorrectly spelled words and words that make no sense in the context they are being used - it's difficult enough to figure out what they are trying to say...

    (Must admit to finding it somewhat humourous - if slightly depressing - when they spell words with more letters than they should, instead of trying to make a word shorter, it ends up being longer than if they had just spelt it correctly in the first place)

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      @Andrew Jones 2 ...

      Got exactly the same score, with the same logic to get that one 'wrong' too.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: @Andrew Jones 2 ...

        Yup. Same logic. Same score.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sorry Andrew, have to do this

      'Must admit to finding it somewhat humourous - if slightly depressing - when they spell words with more letters than they should, instead of trying to make a word shorter'

      What, like triple?

    3. peyton?

      missed it as well

      A bit of googling indicates that it is a violation to have two personal accounts. Where things get fuzzy is that you can create a separate "page" as the persona of, say, your business. But it seems this still must be managed from a personal account.

      Ah well, I guess part of yoof culture is to just skim wikipedia for info rather than reliably check your facts. Seems like the quiz scored well here :p

    4. monkeyfish


      Yes, that one always make reading about Point Of Sale systems all the more entertaining.

  10. Don Jefe


    Parents may not know that POS has apparently evolved but I guarantee that 100% of parents with a PC in the house know how to use Google. If they are truly interested in reading their kids messages and can figure out enough to do that they can certainly look of meanings of acronyms/terms.

    Stuff like this really irritates me as it is just another group butting into private lives and telling people how to raise their children. Child rearing by metrics and analytical management is already largely responsible for the 1.8 of every 2 kids that don't know their multiplication tables or how to change the tire on a car.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Parents

      I'm surprised it's not there yet as a language option on Google Translate!

    2. Miek

      Re: Parents

      "but I guarantee that 100% of parents with a PC in the house know how to use Google. If they are truly interested in reading their kids messages and can figure out enough to do that they can certainly look of meanings of acronyms/terms." --- You can even use Google to decipher Russian, so there's really no excuse.

  11. Luke McCarthy


    And there's me thinking it means "pile of shit".

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG I ROFL when I did that quiz, still YOLO right?

    Well TBH this is not much different from the names different generations of kids gave things to create a parent-proof patois. We've all done it.

    We should make up one right here, right now on El Reg. Beat dem young uns at their own game, eh?


    (Kids don't know we know)

    1. Cubical Drone

      Make it easy on yourself and just use words with more than 5 or 6 letters, they will not have a clue what you are saying.

  13. Annihilator


    Can't remember where I heard this, but I LOL'd at hearing YOLO described as "Carpe Diem" for those with a double-digit IQ.

    Besides, now I'm a bit older and wiser, YOLO applies in different contexts. For example: "Look both ways before crossing the road - YOLO!"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone ever read medieval manuscripts ?

    They are littered with abbreviations and shorthand. When the material you are writing on is worth more than a years wages, you don't waste space.

    I suspect there are missives in the Vatican archives between bishops complaining that the young's grasp of Latin is cause for concern ....

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Except for Buddhists.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: YOLO

      ... and James Bond.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    40 something years old and 100%

    ''You know NetSpeak 100%''

    I take parenting seriously

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      I only did 87.5%. ASL? LMIRL.

      4. Which of the following sentences would raise alarm bells?

      I'm going to get the latest Will.I.Am song off iTunes

      I'm streaming the latest Will.I.Am song on Grooveshark

      I'm going to torrent the latest Will.I.Am album

      I'm hitting up Spotify for Will.I.Am's latest track

      Hmmm... no "any"? Something is wroooong!

  17. Peter Storm

    If only there were some sort of engine for searching for the meanings of all these acronyms that that these young beatniks are employing. Somewhere on the interweb that you could type these things in and with the mere press of a key, be presented with answers and meanings for all things.

    Maybe in the future this will be possible.

  18. Dr Scrum Master

    This daddy's wet

    The squiggles on the home page looked more like "wet speak" at first...

  19. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    You only live once?

    Nah... You obviously like owls

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Lamont Cranston

    In order to best protect my kids,

    I shall take to hanging out on various youth-oriented websites, and learn the lingo. In order to blend in, I shall adopt the persona of a 12 year old girl, and behave accordingly.

    What? Don't look at me like that...

  22. MJI Silver badge


    Quite happy to only get that.

    That music torrent it not bloody I tunes

    Where was Piece of Shit?

    Trolling I knew

  23. Fink-Nottle

    Q: What do you think fraping means?

    A: Fapping with a friend.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      "Q: What do you think fraping means?

      A: Fapping with a friend."

      dERP dERP!

  24. Craig 28

    Any parent worth their salt would send the kid off the computer immediately upon seeing POS assuming they're swearing online so that's not a concern really. As for lets meet in real life I think stating a time and location would be enough of a give away to let most reasonably sensible people know what was going on.

    As for posting under someone else's account vs having two accounts, I suppose the first could be seen as a legal issue while the second would just get you banned from the site.

    Question regarding which statement regarding Will I Am songs is worrying? How about the fact that your kid wants the bloody Will I Am song to begin with, and if they do insist on wanting it better to get it from a torrent for free and not fund the record companies for turning out that crap.

    That said my mother's boyfriend trashed her windows install by fannying around on the pirate bay and guess who had to fix it. He downloads absolutely anything that's going for free, and thinks just because he has AVG freeware installed he's immune to every virus in existence. He also denies doing it even though NOD32 showed the viruses under his account when I scanned it, through an external hard drive enclosure because it kept reinstalling the viruses when I tried scanning it on the actual system. Mum told him to leave it alone and I was fixing it and what did he do? First thing, he went straight to the power button. And now he borrowed my net connection to access the job centre site to avoid getting in trouble for not trying hard enough to find a job and he's been on the f***ing pirate bay on my connection without even asking if he could do that, and after all the performance we had before. Hell he's hard work for a guy in his 50s. I need to get a new router with a guest network when I can afford it and configure to block all traffic not on HTTP/HTTPS/SMTP/POP3.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bittorrent illegal?

    When did that happen?

    Curiously streaming the stuff is not. So lets share by streaming.....

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