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Second Definition?[edit]

I've seen TLDR used as a response to people who post long posts on a forum. Shouldn't that definition be included too? I added the following definition but it was removed without comment: "Used as an explanation by those who didn't read the text due to its length."

tl;dr is also occasionally used when the author himself provides a summary after the long text to provide for the people who would otherwise post tl;dr.

In the Navy we will put a "BLUF" (bottom line, up front) as a summary at the beginning of a long or uninteresting e-mail, so the point isn't missed before they reach for the delete key. Could this be added as a possible synonym or related term for those unfamiliar with TLDR (like myself)? Usnbostx2 (talk) 01:25, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

I have added it as a "see also". It doesn't seem truly synonymous. Equinox 01:34, 19 August 2013 (UTC)


I believe the spelling "tl;dr" is much more common than the spelling "TLDR". In fact, I see "tl;dr" all the time and have never seen "TLDR" in my life, save here. Therefore, I propose that this article be moved to tl;dr, unless anyone present thinks TLDR really is the more common spelling. Fyrius 14:53, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I have yet to see anyone say "tl;dr". That negates the humor of saying it, by explaining it. It isn't "R(TF)M" it is "RTFM" - likewise, it is always "TLDR" not "TL;DR" (and much less common in lowercase.) --Connel MacKenzie 18:42, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I think "tl;dr" is very common on the Chans, among other places. I could take a screenshot the next time I see it in use, if you want. Fyrius 18:09, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Already found a few. on 4chan's /b/, at (Warning: not a very worksafe site. The picture is worksafe though.) on a site named, on to be exact. Ironically, it's in a thread about Wikipedia. on the same site, on
So there you have three examples of the spelling "tl;dr" in use. Fyrius 19:35, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Just yesterday, I used this in lowercase (thinking of this conversation) and it didn't raise any eyebrows. However, the general Wiktionary convention has been to put abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms in their upper-case form whenever it can be both. (Not sure why, and less sure that the same rule should be applied to Internet-isms.) OTOH, it is something of a gargantuan stretch to say that "tldr" is part of the general English lexicon (which used to be one criterion for inclusion.) Still, except for your examples, I haven't seen it with the semicolon. Perhaps different cliques use if differently? 4chan, especially, I'd think, would pride themselves in using a more 133t variant, than is generally accepted. One other note, is that punctuation in a headword is always problematic (if not here, then downstream.) When the punctuation-less variant also exists (and especially when it seems to be more common) the unadorned version should have precedence, perhaps with an alternative spellings mention and/or a soft redirect from the punctuated version. --Connel MacKenzie 22:07, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Very well. If it's a rule that abbreviations with multiple spelling are to be listen in this form, and if it's true that "TLDR" is not notably less common than "tl;dr", then I'm okay with keeping this entry here.
And I think the spelling is indeed a matter of which community you ask. It's quite possible that "tl;dr" is the 4chan variant of the same expression, and that that spelling spread from there; I could imagine that all places where I saw it had some connection to that site. (So there actually exist local dialects on the Internet. :P)
Incidentally, I've never seen "tl;dr" used as a response to "RTFM". Instead, "tl;dr" is used for anything that the writer is too lazy to read, usually a long post or a linked website. I suppose this is because the places where that spelling is used aren't as concerned with manuals as the communities where "TLDR" is the more common spelling. Fyrius 11:27, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Rather than move, have the less common ones pointing to the most common one using {{alternative form of}}. No idea which is most common. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:53, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

As of today Google shows about 1.2 million hits for "tldr" and about 3.6 million for "tl;dr" - I add this bit of highly accurate science to my anecdotal evidence of "Only on wiktionary have I ever seen tl;dr without the semicolon." tl;dr is more common, TLDR uncommon, tldr unheard of, and TL;DR only when shouting. 01:42, 18 November 2011 (UTC)


Is TLDR really replied that much to RTFM? When I've seen tl;rd it is usually in response to prolix writing that is considered to impose an unreasonable burden on the reader. "Too long" would not usually be accepted as a reason to not read the manual. / edg 11:18, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

i actually use the variant TLDNR, n being not, which i was surprised to not see on the list. 02:17, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I second this observation. I see "tl;dr" all the time but never "RTFM". - Fyrius 21:43, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Teal Deer[edit]

I'm removing the paragraph with the "teal deer" pronunciation comparison. But if someone know the International Phonetic Alphabet, please use that instead.

NATO Phonetic for TLDR is Tango Lima Delta Romeo

That may be, but there's a semicolon between the TL and DR. Thus spawning the "Teal Deer" pronunciation. Teal;Deer. Get it?

I'm pretty sure he didn't mean the NATO phonetic alphabet. The International Phonetic Alphabet is those transcriptional symbols you find in dictionaries.
And in IPA, "teal dear" would translate to /tiːʟ diːʀ/. :) - Fyrius 21:42, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
A correction: the IPA transcription for , at least in RP, would be /tiːl dɪə/ invalid IPA characters ( ).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:13, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Could I get away with that if I say I transcribed the American pronunciation? :P - Fyrius 18:16, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Nope, [ʀ] is a uvular trill and [ʟ] is a terrible thing :p For Standard American English? try for the ɹ or ɚ and stick with the l.