Commonly thought of as a series of letters that make up a 'word' there is a distinction between acronyms and shorthand.
The actual definition of an acronym and text shorthand is here.
Online enthusiasts are learning that shorthand are in fact called acronyms, but this is incorrect.
Internet acronyms, text message jargon, abbreviations, initialisms, cyberslang, leetspeak, SMS code, textese With hundreds of millions of people texting regularly, it's no wonder you've seen this cryptic looking code!
Commonly used wherever people get online -- including IMing, SMSing, cell phones, Blackberries, PDAs, Web sites, games, newsgroup postings, in chat rooms, on blogs, or on social media -- these abbreviations are used by people around the world to communicate with each other.
BTW: If you ever see someone TYPING AN ENTIRE SENTENCE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS that means SHOUTING!
It is not proper netiquette to TYPE IN ALL CAPS (even in email), in fact, it's annoying.
made a surprise move last week and shut down its user-created chatrooms.
The company made the move when it was discovered that the online forums were being used by sexual predators to prey on underaged children.