What is a Tone Indicator?

Tone indicators are shorthand for words used to convey tone, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as “a quality in the voice that expresses the speaker’s feelings or thoughts”.

The tone of someone’s voice can be joking, or serious; it can be teasing, or threatening. It can be negative, positive, or neutral. It can be sexually suggestive, or entirely friendly. Tone can do so much to change the meaning and implications of a sentence.

Some examples of tone indicators are “/j”, “/s”, “/srs”, “/p”, “/r”, “/ly”, “neg”, “pos”, “/gen” and “/c”. Though there are many others, these are the ones that are most commonly used and needed for clarity of communication.

The intended use of tone indicators is in text, and they are prevalent on social media where miscommunication is rife, and posts and messages are often misinterpreted.

Note: The above section is sourced from A Guide to Tone Indicators - Intro.

List of Tone Indicators

  • /j = Joking
  • /hj = Half-Joking
  • /s = Sarcasting
  • /gen, /g = Genuine
  • /srs = Serious
  • /nsrs = Non-Serious
  • /pc, /pos = Positive Connotation
  • /neu = Neutral Connotation
  • /nc, /neg = Negative Connotation
  • /p = Platonic
  • /r = Romantic
  • /c = Copypasta
  • /l, /ly = Lyrics
  • /lh = Light-Hearted
  • /nm = Not Mad or Upset
  • /lu = A Little Upset
  • /nbh = Nobody Here. For when you’re vagueposting or venting, but it’s directed at nobody here (none of your followers).
  • /nsb = Not Sub-Tweeting
  • /sx, /x = Sexual Intent
  • /nsx, /nx = Non-Sexual Intent
  • /rh, /rt = Rhetorical Question
  • /t = Teasing
  • /ij = Inside Joke
  • /m = Metaphorically
  • /li = Literally
  • /hyp = Hyperbole
  • /f = Fake
  • /th = Threat
  • /cb = Clickbait

Note: The above section is sourced from A Guide to Tone Indicators - Master List.

Sources Worth Reading