Jones, a computer programmer in Allen Park, Michigan, quickly realized the messages weren't from his boss -- they were from his boss' children who were hanging out at the office with their father for the day.As a joke, they'd gone into their dad's AOL account and sent silly, innocent instant messages to everyone in the office, and none of the adults could understand the shortcuts and slang.
'Boy am I old' Six years ago, Ryan Jones didn't know what the above terms meant either -- but that was before he became an expert in the shorthand teens use to communicate about their illicit activities.
If the answers are no, you're not a teenager who uses alcohol or drugs.
It all began in 2004, when Jones, a software engineer, received some odd instant messages at work, using terms such as "idk" and "lyk." It was all Greek to Jones.
"Some of this stuff is pretty vulgar." After they read through his dictionary, parents appreciate the education, Jones says.
"Parents write me thank you notes all the time, and I occasionally get hate letters from teens," he says.