TLDR: Its Meaning

TLDR Its Meaning
TLDR Its Meaning

What does TLDR stand for?

We examine the TLDR acronym and provide examples to help you understand how it works.

You can save time and effort by not having to type out popular phrases all of the time while using the internet acronyms. However, if you’re not familiar with them, they can be even more perplexing. That is certainly the case with the abbreviation TLDR, as many people are unsure what it stands for.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this widely used acronym. Let’s take a look at what TLDR stands for, how to utilize it, and some examples of how it’s used.

  1. The acronym TLDR is an acronym that stands for “too long, too
  2. The acronym TLDR stands for “too long; did not read.” Although many people mistake TLDR for an acronym, it is actually an initialism.

NATO is an acronym, which is an abbreviation made up of pronounceable initials. Meanwhile, an initialism, such as BBC, is an abbreviation in which the individual letters are said aloud. TL;DR is an initialism, which means it’s pronounced “tee el dee are.”

The abbreviation TLDR is now commonly abbreviated as just TLDR. TL;DR is the older and more formal form, which includes a semicolon between the L and the D.

The TLDR acronym is sometimes known as TL/DR or TL/DNR, which stands for did not read. However, because these are less prevalent, most people will be OK with the usual TLDR.

It makes no difference whether you type the letters in uppercase or lowercase.

The Meaning in a Nutshell

Let’s look at the meaning of TLDR now that you know what it stands for.

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A Poster’s TLDR

The acronym TLDR is commonly used on online forums such as Reddit. If you’re new to Reddit, read our introduction to learn more about the site’s culture.

The main purpose of TLDR is to provide a summary of a lengthy post so that people may read it without having to read the full thing. This is frequently done as a service to others by the original poster (OP).

Someone might, for example, write a lengthy analysis of a news piece, offer a lengthy personal narrative, or otherwise submit a large amount of text. Some people may be put off by this since they don’t want or have time to read it all.

The poster will provide a TLDR comprising just a few lines as a compromise. These succinctly describe the content for those who only want to grasp the fundamentals and move on.

Of course, merely checking the TLDR misses out on some of the finer nuances. Many people will make their TLDR clever or caustic as a compromise, making them especially enjoyable for those who have read the entire post.

The TLDR summary is usually found at the end or beginning of the post in the OP. People will realize it’s there right away if it’s included at the start, so they won’t click away from the post. However, putting it there may ruin the plot for those who wish to read it in its entirety.

It’s usually ideal to do this because most people know to look at the bottom of an article for a TLDR summary.

As a comment, TLDR

While TLDR is frequently used in conjunction with forum postings, it can also be used as a response. People usually use the TL;DR comment to say that the original content is too long and they don’t want to read it.

If you provide a summary, they may be more engaged with the information. However, people can use this in a mocking way to say that what you posted is too long for them to be interested in.

Someone who supplied a summary if the OP didn’t did so is another type of TLDR comment. People like having a summary of stuff like this, so if you ever find an article frightening and take the time to read it, writing your own TLDR is likely to be well received.

As previously stated, as a commentator, coming up with a funny or snarky TLDR is generally a crowd-pleaser.

This is a basic example, but it demonstrates how to use TLDR. Although the original post isn’t extremely long, it is badly formatted. Because the large amount of content may discourage someone from reading it all, the TLDR line explains everything in a short manner.

TLDR Factors to Consider

You might be wondering how you can effectively use TLDR in your own postings while avoiding rude TLDR requests. As previously stated, it’s preferable to put the TLDR at the conclusion of the piece to avoid “spoilers” and encourage people to read the entire thing.

However, you should consider how you create your main content in order to make a TLDR less essential or even unneeded. If a summary isn’t necessary for what you’ve written, leave it out. Simply having a TLDR might sometimes indicate that you’ve written too much and could have cut it down.

Even if you can’t avoid having a lot of text, you can format it to make it easier to read. Break up your paragraphs so that none of them are overly long. To make the text aesthetically different, use text alternatives such as bullet points or horizontal lines.

In official writing, TLDR, like most other online acronyms, should be avoided. It’s fine to use in private conversations with coworkers, but you shouldn’t use it in a department-wide email. If you want to offer a TLDR-like sentence, instead use the more professional “In summary” or “Synopsis.”

We’ve covered everything you need to know about TLDR, but there are a few other acronyms you should be aware of.

TL;DC is one of them. This has been left unattended for much too long; it doesn’t bother me. It’s similar to TLDR but more antagonistic. It’s commonly used to convey that a paragraph is simply too long for people to consider, thus they won’t read it.

Meanwhile, TL;DW is too long; I didn’t watch. For video content, this is the equivalent of TLDR. This is something you’ll see a lot on Reddit videos. Many people may be unable to view or hear the video because they are browsing at work or on their phones. As a result, this is a method of requesting a text summary of the video’s content.

Finally, you should understand what a wall of text entails. While the word is overused, it refers to a large, rambling block of text with little to no formatting. It most likely lacks paragraph separation and has a lot of run-on sentences. It’s difficult to read and comprehend large amounts of content.

A long post does not (or should not) imply a wall of text. There’s nothing wrong with a large amount of well-formatted, non-wordy material. Don’t worry about folks who can’t focus long enough to read it.

TLDR Browser Add-ons

Several TLDR browser extensions are available as examples of how TLDR has been ingrained in culture. You can get a summary version of every page you view online with these. Several of them are out of date, and none are really well-known, but if you enjoy summaries, they’re worth a look.

TLDR This is the most recent version, which is compatible with Chrome and Firefox. It scans an article and delivers a five-sentence summary or less. If it doesn’t work, there are more choices in Chrome, such as TL;DR. They haven’t seen any changes in years, though.

TLDR This (Chrome) | Firefox (Firefox) (Free)

TL;DR for Chrome is available for download (Free)

Make Good Use of TLDR

To summarize, TLDR allows you to create an online summary of a post or request one from the original poster. If you’re writing something long, think about if you need a TLDR. It isn’t acceptable in every situation, but in today’s online environment of short attention spans, it is frequently appreciated.

The acronym TLDR is far from the only one you should be aware of. Take a look at our glossary of internet slang and abbreviations to learn more about terms like TBH.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.