tail recursion = T = talker system

talk mode n.

A feature supported by Unix, ITS, and some other OSes that allows two or more logged-in users to set up a real-time on-line conversation. It combines the immediacy of talking with all the precision (and verbosity) that written language entails. It is difficult to communicate inflection, though conventions have arisen for some of these (see the section on writing style in the Prependices for details).

Talk mode has a special set of jargon words, used to save typing, which are not used orally. Some of these are identical to (and probably derived from) Morse-code jargon used by ham-radio amateurs since the 1920s.

AFAIK
as far as I know
BCNU
be seeing you
BTW
by the way
BYE?
are you ready to unlink? (this is the standard way to end a talk-mode conversation; the other person types BYE to confirm, or else continues the conversation)
CUL
see you later
ENQ?
are you busy? (expects ACK or NAK in return)
FOO?
are you there? (often used on unexpected links, meaning also "Sorry if I butted in ..." (linker) or "What's up?" (linkee))
FWIW
for what it's worth
FYI
for your information
FYA
for your amusement
GA
go ahead (used when two people have tried to type simultaneously; this cedes the right to type to the other)
GRMBL
grumble (expresses disquiet or disagreement)
HELLOP
hello? (an instance of the `-P' convention)
IIRC
if I recall correctly
JAM
just a minute (equivalent to SEC....)
MIN
same as JAM
NIL
no (see NIL)
NP
no problem
O
over to you
OO
over and out
/
another form of "over to you" (from x/y as "x over y")
\
lambda (used in discussing LISPy things)
OBTW
oh, by the way
OTOH
on the other hand
R U THERE?
are you there?
SEC
wait a second (sometimes written SEC...)
SYN
Are you busy? (expects ACK, SYN|ACK, or RST in return; this is modeled on the TCP/IP handshake sequence)
T
yes (see the main entry for T)
TNX
thanks
TNX 1.0E6
thanks a million (humorous)
TNXE6
another form of "thanks a million"
WRT
with regard to, or with respect to.
WTF
the universal interrogative particle; WTF knows what it means?
WTH
what the hell?
<double newline>
When the typing party has finished, he/she types two newlines to signal that he/she is done; this leaves a blank line between `speeches' in the conversation, making it easier to reread the preceding text.
<name>:
When three or more terminals are linked, it is conventional for each typist to prepend his/her login name or handle and a colon (or a hyphen) to each line to indicate who is typing (some conferencing facilities do this automatically). The login name is often shortened to a unique prefix (possibly a single letter) during a very long conversation.
/\/\/\
A giggle or chuckle. On a MUD, this usually means `earthquake fault'.

Most of the above sub-jargon is used at both Stanford and MIT. Several of these expressions are also common in email, esp. FYI, FYA, BTW, BCNU, WTF, and CUL. A few other abbreviations have been reported from commercial networks, such as GEnie and CompuServe, where on-line `live' chat including more than two people is common and usually involves a more `social' context, notably the following:

<g>
grin
<gd&r>
grinning, ducking, and running
BBL
be back later
BRB
be right back
HHOJ
ha ha only joking
HHOK
ha ha only kidding
HHOS
ha ha only serious
IMHO
in my humble opinion (see IMHO)
LOL
laughing out loud
NHOH
Never Heard of Him/Her (often used in initgame)
ROTF
rolling on the floor
ROTFL
rolling on the floor laughing
AFK
away from keyboard
b4
before
CU l8tr
see you later
MORF
male or female?
TTFN
ta-ta for now
TTYL
talk to you later
OIC
oh, I see
rehi
hello again

Most of these are not used at universities or in the Unix world, though ROTF and TTFN have gained some currency there and IMHO is common; conversely, most of the people who know these are unfamiliar with FOO?, BCNU, HELLOP, NIL, and T.

The MUD community uses a mixture of Usenet/Internet emoticons, a few of the more natural of the old-style talk-mode abbrevs, and some of the `social' list above; specifically, MUD respondents report use of BBL, BRB, LOL, b4, BTW, WTF, TTFN, and WTH. The use of `rehi' is also common; in fact, mudders are fond of re- compounds and will frequently `rehug' or `rebonk' (see bonk/oif) people. The word `re' by itself is taken as `regreet'. In general, though, MUDders express a preference for typing things out in full rather than using abbreviations; this may be due to the relative youth of the MUD cultures, which tend to include many touch typists and to assume high-speed links. The following uses specific to MUDs are reported:

CU l8er
see you later (mutant of CU l8tr)
FOAD
fuck off and die (use of this is generally OTT)
OTT
over the top (excessive, uncalled for)
ppl
abbrev for "people"
THX
thanks (mutant of TNX; clearly this comes in batches of 1138 (the Lucasian K)).
UOK?
are you OK?

Some B1FFisms (notably the variant spelling d00d) appear to be passing into wider use among some subgroups of MUDders.

One final note on talk mode style: neophytes, when in talk mode, often seem to think they must produce letter-perfect prose because they are typing rather than speaking. This is not the best approach. It can be very frustrating to wait while your partner pauses to think of a word, or repeatedly makes the same spelling error and backs up to fix it. It is usually best just to leave typographical errors behind and plunge forward, unless severe confusion may result; in that case it is often fastest just to type "xxx" and start over from before the mistake.

See also hakspek, emoticon.

--Jargon File, autonoded by rescdsk.

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