What does the H in IMHO mean

There's a big fight brewing on Twitter and it has nothing to do with Tweeter-in-Chief Donald Trump.

This fight is all over a letter — and what it stands for.

What does IMHO mean?

BuzzFeed started the debate when two staffers disagreed on what the "H" in the acronym IMHO means. One believes it means "honest," while the other is adamant it stands for "humble."

The debate spilled over into the company's internal Slack conversations, with many offering passionate reasoning for why they picked a certain word.


"In my honest opinion is something Steve Urkel would say," wrote one staffer.

"I am so angry that every time I said 'IMHO' you heathens were reading it as honest," added another.

"IMHO, IMHO means 'in my honest opinion'," wrote another.

One BuzzFeed editor took the debate to Twitter and it devolved from there.

"Unfollow me if you think the H in IMHO stands for 'honest'," Craig Silverman tweeted. "Seriously, I'm so angry right now."

What is the correct definition of IMHO?

Here's the thing: The popularity of texting and instant messaging has changed the way we communicate. Text speak — or using acronyms and abbreviations for common words and phrases — is here to stay, whether we like it or not.

And it's not like it's the first time language has changed. As The New Republic points out, in 63 AD, a Roman scholar was upset Latin students were writing in an "artificial language." That language eventually evolve into what we recognize today as French.

"[P]eople banging away on their smartphones are fluently using a code separate from the one they use in actual writing, and there is no evidence that texting is ruining composition skills," John McWorder, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and the author of "What Language Is (and What It Isn't and What It Could Be)" said in a 2013 TED talk, adapted for Time.

the debate of IMHO rages on

"Worldwide people speak differently from the way they write, and texting — quick, casual and only intended to be read once — is actually a way of talking with your fingers."

So basically IMHO can mean anything you want it to mean and it's not technically wrong. But, the debate continues: A BuzzFeed poll shows that most people (59 percent) think it means "in my honest opinion." 

Not everyone is convinced yet.

I thought we learned not to trust polls after 2016," one staffer argued.


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