Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you hear people talking about the Internet and social media in daily conversation?

Are there certain phrases that you aren’t sure how to use in a regular English conversation?

Social media and the Internet are a very big part of the culture in the US and vocabulary words from the Internet have entered our lexicon in American English.

We’re going to help you to know the best phrases to use and which ones apply in conversation.

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Here’s a question from our listener:

Hello to both,

I’ve always been curious about the Internet culture in the US. In my culture we throw memes and talk to each other that way with friends. I was wondering if it was the same way within the US.

Do people typically use Internet catch words in their conversations? If so, what are the most common catch words or phrases? Is Urban Dictionary a good source to rely on for these types of words?

Looking forward to hearing from you. You guys have enlightened and inspired me a lot!

BTW, I’m recommending All Ears English to all of my friends.

Thank you so much,

Chenfei from China

Knowing How To Talk About This

Urban Dictionary is a great source for researching terms like this.

This is a great resource to help and ensure you know what to use in conversation.

You want to be able to talk about something that is such a big part of the culture within the US.

Talking about social media or knowing what phrases to use can be quite helpful.

This has evolved over time, but new phrases are added all the time.

The Most Common Words

When you are talking about the Internet or social media or even when you are just in a normal conversation that is not related to the Internet there are certain phrases you will see over and over again.

These tend to be abbreviations and some are used more than others.

  • LOL: It means laughing out loud and it may be a bit older in its application. You may not hear this used as much, though it is very much mainstream. People may use this in texts, but emojis often replace this in a lot of different contexts. You’ll still see it, but not as much. You might even hear it in conversation.
  • TMI: This means too much information and it’s a pretty easy and common one to use. You won’t tend to see this used in texts as often, but you will hear it used in conversation. It works and it gets the point across that something is just too much.
  • BTW: This means by the way and it can be used in conversations, though you would see it more often in texts. Saying by the way in conversation is much easier, but if you want to save time in texts then typing these three letters can work just fine.
  • FYI: It means for your information, and it’s quite common professionally speaking. Typing the three letters is much easier, and so you will see this used in texts but also in conversation. It’s not reserved just for business conversations, but it can work where. It’s pretty neutral though, so it can be used with friends too. You are essentially saying something like just to let you know.
  • Hashtag: It might be #fail or #motivated or any word used with the actual hashtag. This has become overused on social media, though it started off as a good way to tag something. People overuse it and misused it because they use it with random unrelated things. This may be something that people use as a stereotype to make fun of millenials. Because it has become so overused, older people tend not to use it or make fun of it.

These are the most common words and so learning them and using them can help you in these conversations.


Talking about things in texts or on social medias is quite important.

You now have some of the most common phrases or abbreviations to use.

Practice using them and see which ones fit into your conversations well.

Knowing how to integrate these into your texts or conversations helps you to stay relevant and sound current in your conversations.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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