A personal or personal ad is an item or notice traditionally in the newspaper, similar to a classified ad but personal in nature. In British English it is also commonly known as an advert in a lonely hearts column. With its rise in popularity, the World Wide Web has also become a common medium for personals, commonly referred to as online dating. Personals are generally meant to generate romance, friendship, or casual (sometimes sexual) encounters, and usually include a basic description of the person posting it, and their interests.
Due to newspaper prices being based on characters or lines of text, a jargon of abbreviations, acronyms and code words arose in personals, and have carried over to the internet.