But Then Again -or- Before The Attacks
Online jargon, also known as text message shorthand, used primarily in texting, online chat, instant messaging, email, blogs, and newsgroup postings, these types of abbreviations are also referred to as chat acronyms.
The latter is used to mark the time before 9/11 and how views have changed since. For example, if something is "BTA," it may be considered naive or self-centered and may reflect attitudes held "before the attacks."
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NetLingo Classification: Acronyms and Text Message