From Urban dictionary I verified that "PM me" means "private message" me. I thought "private message" is a verbing noun and it usually appears in group chat rooms where many people can see the message we send. When someone in the group decides to initiate a point-to-point channel with some particular guy also in that group s/he would say "please PM me" which means "let's have a private talk". Am I right?

What if two people are discussing something in a private channel(one to one) and one of them is vexed by something and doesn't reply to the other guy for a long time and the other guy says "please IM me when you are free" where IM means "instant message".

I found the sentence below from here.

If Mike comes online, tell him to IM me.

Do native speakers say that way?

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    They might guess the intended meaning from context, but hardly anyone would automatically understand abbreviations like MP / PM / IM without a full context. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're fully expecting that the first time you do this with any given person, you'll have to send an additional message explaining what you meant (but then at least you'll save keystroke time in the future, if the situation arises frequently! :) – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '20 at 13:49
  • ...I doubt that many people would actually speak that way - it's just a way of reducing keystrokes in text communication modes. – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '20 at 13:55
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    If you say either, I would probably understand it online. But "DM" (direct message) is also very common. Seems platform specific though. – user57928 Apr 18 '20 at 16:38
  • People actually use:Please text me. Texting is instant messaging. – Lambie Apr 19 '20 at 15:32

Can I say “please IM me” as I say “please PM me”?

As long as the listener understands the meaning of 'IM', you can use it as a verb.

I use social media a lot and hear these terms a lot. I use them as verbs all the time.

DM (verb): Abbreviation for direct message: to send someone a private message (PM) on a social media website.

Example: I'm selling my bike. DM me if you're interested.

[Cambridge English dictionary]

Now replace the D with P or I,

  • I'm selling my bike. PM/ IM me if you're interested.

You could also say inbox me.

Inbox (verb): [WITH OBJECT] Send a private message or an email to (someone, typically another member of a social networking website or online forum).

Example: I'll inbox you on Facebook when I get home.



It’s funny, “IM me” kind of implies that it’s a PM, because it’s just to “me”, although it doesn’t explicitly state that privacy is required.

So “IM” is more general, and is just implying the “instant” part, i.e. electronic communication. It’s essentially just quicker than saying “message me”. One might use “PM me” in the same context, for clarity.

To move from a chat room to a private message would obviously require “PM” (or “DM” (direct message), which is more common on some platforms, and also generally in today’s culture), as it differentiates between public and private.

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