Since so much of the communication these days is done in writing let’s look at some frequently used acronyms.  They are especially useful when using IM (instant messaging – another acronym) but also for emails and on social media sites.

Actually more of an honest than a humble opinion, pic:

One that you will come across on occasion is IMHO.  It can mean either “in my humble opinion” or “in my honest opinion”.  They are very similar and seeing the acronym in context you will have to decide for yourself whether you are dealing with a humble or an honest person.

The acronym is used to indicate that somebody expresses his or her opinion, not making a factual statement.  The “humble” has a bit of a self-deprecating note to it.  You would use it if you speak to a controversial topic, say politics, and express an opinion you know others are likely to disagree with.  It is a way of saying “this is what I think, I know you might think differently but I hope we can agree to disagree in a civilized way”.

If the H stands for honest, it’s obvious, you are expressing an opinion honestly and indicate that you mean it and speak with conviction.

Again, which of the two the writer means will remain a mystery unless you are able to ask him or her or figure it out from the context, e.g. if somebody writes “IMHO, this book is totally boring, I put it down after 10 pages because I didn’t want to waste my time on it” he/she is probably expression an honest opinion, rather then a humble one.

3 Responses to “IMHO”

  1. All opinions are honest, and by definition not humble. To form an opinion is consider yourself well-informed enough on the subject, a proud statement.

    • I don’t quite agree. Here is the dictionary definition of “humble opinion”: Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful. To me this makes sense, so the humbleness does not refer to the actual nature of the opinion so much as to the way it is voiced, that is in a humble/modest way or arrogant.


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