The Brief: TLDR stands for "too long; didn't read."

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

TLDR (also stylized tl;dr) is used to introduce a summary to a large amount of text. Its use allows readers to skip reading a large amount of contextualizing information in favor of a more succinct version. For instance, a several paragraphs-long Reddit post in which the user describes his budding romantic feelings for his Art History professor, going into great detail about the context surrounding their relationship, might begin or end with “tl;dr I’m in love with my art teacher.”

TLDR can also summarize Instagram captions, Facebook statuses, or web articles. Sometimes the summary is used to highlight a personal take on an issue, usually in conjunction with a news story. It can be used in texting as a response to a lengthy message or to communicate disinterest:

Person 1: I had an amazing weekend, I went to a wellness retreat and learned a lot about myself and the world.

Person 2: TLDR

The abbreviation’s use has evolved to include the phrase “TLDR version,” as in requesting a TLDR version (summary) to a large amount of reading.

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