Long words have a tendency to get much shorter with time, and with today’s society media crazed world, shorter words and acronyms room making their method into the English language every day.

You are watching: What does s&m stand for

For example, in 2016, when Collins, the English dictionary, released its “words that the year list,” the list contained the complying with words:


JOMO is an acronym that stands for the “Joy Of absent Out,” and also it complies with in the footsteps of other recent classics such together YOLO and FOMO.

Basically, JOMO refers to the pleasure one feels as soon as they happen up top top plans through others.


A catchy surname for “Britain’s Exit” the end of the europe Union, Brexit has become such a fashionable word over the past few years the it pops up in nearly every conversation around politics these days.

This propensity towards much shorter words can also be found in what we write just as lot as it does in what us say. Because that instance, /s is great case in point: it is a term the can involved abbreviate several other words.


What walk /s mean?

Even despite /s is used method more in writing that that is used in speech, that has come to have a few meanings. The is provided to represent sarcasm within online communities, particularly on Reddit forums and other online post boards. Because that the physicists and also scientists out there, /s is a math notation that way per second. The hatchet is additionally used in HTML coding to strike with a certain part of text. And, one archaic use the /s is to refer to a signature once quoting documents.

/s and also sarcasm

Sarcasm is a subtle art, one that easily goes end the head of a many people. The thing with sarcasm is that human being may it is in unsure whether the human speaking actually means what they speak or lock are just being sarcastic.

And the only method to call the difference is contextual, an interpretation it counts on, among many other things, our previous understanding of the human being speaking, just how the person said the sentence including their ton of voice, what was said before in the conversation, and also where the conversation is being held.

However, this is the internet, where many things space devoid that context, an individual doesn’t understand 90 percent that the other civilization they are communicating with, and good luck to anyone trying to discern someone else’s tone of voice as they write something down.

To do matters worse, human being used to be happy relying top top 140 personalities to send every other fully formed concepts in the form of tweets (Mind you, as soon as speaking about characters, we space talking about letters and spaces, no words.

The words in between these base alone consist of 246 characters, there is no counting the brackets. Imagine seeing this sentence yet having no context because that it.)

Thank God Twitter enhanced the allowable number of characters indigenous 140 to 280. /s

As a an outcome of this lack of context, it yes, really isn’t challenging to imagine every the misunderstandings and also disagreements the fester.

For example, it wake up quite frequently that someone states something sarcastically, only to be called out by someone that didn’t acquire the joke. This is whereby /s comes in.

In order to stop these disagreements, human being online placed /s, also known as the sarcasm switch, at the end of their sentences to signal the they to be being sarcastic around what they had just said.

Here space a pair of examples:

Professor James is my favourite professor; the guy knows his stuff. /S

Me: how much will certainly repairing the laptop cost?Technician: You’re looking in ~ 250 bucks.Me: oh great, her prices space so cheap that they’re almost a steal. /s

Other cases similar to /s

It is worth noting that utilizing a slash and also a letter to contextualize a sentence or even whole paragraph isn’t an isolated incident; the internet has actually been using this trick because that a while.

In fact, utilizing a slash complied with by a qualifier offers context for everything that’s been said before it. Because that example, if I usage /rant ~ a long paragraph, I’m letting the readers understand two things:

Everything prior to the “/rant” to be me ranting and venting about something bothering and also that I necessary to acquire off my chest.I am now done through my rant.

As a issue of fact, /s began out as a slash adhered to by the qualifier-descriptor “sarcasm.” it wasn’t until method later the /sarcasm obtained shortened to /s.

What are the beginnings of /s?

Of all places, /s gained its begin in HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language and is the simple coding language offered to strength the internet.

In fact, every little thing you see on this page, including the short article you are reading right now has actually been created using HTML.

In HTML, at any time you want to offer the internet browser an order, you use angle brackets to create tags, i beg your pardon look like this: “”.

What wake up is the these tags permit the internet browser know exactly how to display a specific page. The sign can style the text, create hyperlinks, insert tables and images and do much more.

Tags come in pairs. Because that every “” in ~ the start of a text, there needs to be a “” in ~ the end of the text. Right here is a an easy example:

Let’s to speak I wanted to let the web browser know that ns was about to write a brand-new sub-heading, therefore I’ll use the “h4” heading tags.

New sub-heading:

When the browser sees the above sentence, the will translate the tags together signifying the this is a brand-new heading and should be formatted as such. The last rendering would look like this:

New sub-heading:

So, why does any type of of this matter?

Well, this is just how /s started. At the an extremely beginning, an individual who wanted to be sarcastic would certainly start and also end your statement with sarcastic quotes. It would look something favor this:

A sarcastic statement that no one should take literally.

The sarcasm tags were claimed to look exactly comparable to the other tags supplied with HTML.

The only distinction was that quite than being intended for the browser, these tags were targeted at the actual human being reading the text in the hopes of protecting against them from acquiring the dorn idea.

However, v time, these tags acquired shortened indigenous … come ….

After a little while, the early tag was dropped, leaving just at the finish of sarcastic statements.

Fast forward a bit and even the angle brackets top top that 2nd tag to be tossed, leaving us with /s only. And, the is how we ended up with /s denoting sarcasm.

/s in HTML

The funny thing is that … is actually offered in HTML coding and also not for sarcasm.

These are tags that are offered to let the browser strike v a specific piece of text, indicating the was written was no longer correct.

For instance, if someone had actually one written on your blog:

I support the so and also so community.

A few years later, our blogger has had actually a adjust of heart, and they no longer support the previously mentioned community.

They want to let the be known that they have adjusted their opinions, yet they perform not want to hide their previously position.

So, instead of deleting what they had said a couple of years earlier, they decide to save it but strike with it just to present that that is no much longer true.

So, they would certainly write:

I assistance the so and also so community.,

And it would certainly look something favor this:

I support the so and so community.

/s in the sciences

Physicists prefer to measure and compare various quantities.

For example, physicists define speed together measuring the distance a human body covers end a specific period of time.

If the unit the measuring distance were meter and the unit for time were second, climate a physicist would certainly be questioning themselves how countless meters does this human body cover every second?

In mathematical notation, it would certainly be created as “m/s.”

In fact, /s means per 2nd and can be provided in any context in i m sorry time is a factor.

Here are a couple of more examples:

The dimension of strength is J/s, which means Joule per second.

The dimension of angular rate is rad/s, which means radian per second.

/s in quoting documents

Now, this one is a little bit old, however a if back, once quoting a document, an “s” between two slashes was offered to indicate a hand-written signature and also was put at the close up door of the document.

For example, let’s say we were quoting one old letter, and at the finish of the letter, us wrote:



Chandler Bing, the procurements manager

Seeing the “/s/” at the end way that Chandler Bing’s hand-written signature was at the bottom of the original file right after words “Sincerely.”

/s: pack it all up

Language adapts to the times, and today’s online conversations need a method to include some context, i m sorry is wherein conversation tags like the sarcasm switch, /s, come in handy.

What was additionally fascinating to be to see exactly how this tag, prefer several other words, acquired shortened v time and also went from 2 tags to a solitary slash complied with by a solitary letter.

This act of truncation wasn’t minimal to digital conversations; physicists usage it to display physical quantities.

See more: Gaddis, Starting Out With C++ 9Th Edition ), Starting Out With C 9Th Edition

It was likewise enjoyable come see exactly how the exact same expression deserve to play totally different functions in one old practice, quoting documents, and also in a new one, writing HTML code.