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You’ve likely seen it in your inbox or in your Twitter feed, but what does ICYMI mean?
Unlike with many other texting abbreviations, the meaning of ICYMI isn’t easy to decipher the first time you see it. And it doesn’t help that it’s most commonly used in promotional emails and tweets, because you can’t then ask the person who wrote it what ICYMI means.
But once you know it means “in case you missed it,” you won’t want to write out all five of those words again. It’s a helpful abbreviation (as opposed to an acronym). And, yes, there is a distinction between acronyms and abbreviations.
Where does ICYMI come from?
There’s a reason ICYMI is all over your inbox and Twitter feed. It reduces what would otherwise be 21 characters down to just five. So, ICYMI a great digital space-saver, packing a five-word punch to help squeeze in a message online.
But there’s an inherent irony here. If you don’t know that ICYMI means, “in case you missed it,” there’s a decent chance you will miss it. By the way, find out what FWIW means.
How to use ICYMI
Often people use ICYMI meaning, “You may already know this, but I wanted to make sure you did.” (In this way, it’s sort of a mix between FYI and BTW.) Use ICYMI to direct people’s attention toward something you want them to see or—more importantly—not overlook.
So, say you want to make sure a colleague takes note of a particular policy change. You could send that person a message saying, for instance, “ICYMI: We will no longer be observing Casual Friday.”
And that’s why you’ll see ICYMI in many a promotional email (“ICYMI Extra 30 Percent Off Clearance”) and tweet (“My new book is out now ICYMI.”). Once you have the ICYMI meaning down pat, you’ll be using it in your emails and tweets, too. Now, learn what URL stands for next. And next time you’re scrolling, you may appreciate knowing what s/u means.