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The publisher forwards replies in bulk to the advertiser at a given interval, for example each week.
Another method of replying to Lonely Hearts adverts is via telephone; this took off with the introduction of premium-rate telephone numbers, providing an additional way for the publisher to generate money.
The usual business model is for the advertiser to be enticed to place an advert free of charge (using an 0800 number or equivalent); those replying (and also the advertiser, when they want to check for any replies) must use a premium-rate line.
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 often carried over to the internet.
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.
Newspapers and magazines that take personal advertisements often provide a reply forwarding service; in this case, the text of the advert will include a unique box number and anyone wishing to reply to the advert sends or delivers their reply to the publisher's address in an envelope bearing that number.
If a personal advert includes a TLA, it could be to describe the person who is seeking and/or the kind of person they seek; for example, an advert stating 'DLF for SJT' means that a divorced Latina female is searching for a single Jewish transgender person.