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Is it appropriate to reply on chat with RIP when you hear someone dies

I read up RIP = Rest in Peace
Also saw that it means something like in original language -
Requiesce cat in pace Does it look decent to simply reply RIP. Especially when someone posts a message on a chat group I have seen several people replying RIP. Not sure if there is a good alternative to that..

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  • You don't want to JUST write that. Write something else first...He was a great friend and I will miss him. RIP. For example.
    – Lambie
    May 14 at 16:29
  • I would not write Requiesce cat in pace, unless I were mourning a furry pet, and trying to be funny. May 14 at 17:01
  • If you would like to be formal, you may wish to express your sincere condolences. May 14 at 18:23
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It can be appropriate.

The Latin phrase is requiescat in pace which translates to may he/she/it rest in peace. The abbreviation RIP also neatly lines up with the English phrase.

If others are replying "RIP" it is probably acceptable for you to respond that way as well. However, you should be careful of the context. It has become common to use "RIP" or especially "rip" (lowercase) to respond to things that are not nearly as bad as someone dying, as the Urban Dictionary entry shows. A similar meme is to reply "F" which is a reference to a video game; using this in response to news of an actual person's death would probably be quite impolite.

As @Lambie points out, if you are able to expand your response with a sentence or two about the person and how you knew them (or how they were important to you) that will ensure your reply is not interpreted the wrong way.

Of course there are other options, such as responding "That's terrible" or "I'm sorry to hear that" or other things that express your dismay.

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  • There is the famous, and possibly apocryphal, UK story of a person new to social media, who thought that 'LOL' meant 'lots of love' and sent 'Sorry to hear your mother is dead, LOL' to someone. May 14 at 17:04
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I agree with the others in that only replying with an acronym, in this case, "RIP" is in poor taste if you are not first elaborating on how hearing that news makes you feel. Saying "I'm sorry for your loss" or "My condolences" are more compassionate ways to express empathy upon hearing about a deceased loved one.

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