Internet Slang: Thank the Internet for YOLO, Selfie
It would be difficult to argue that the internet hasn’t changed the way we talk. After all, without social media platforms and chat rooms, would anyone be exclaiming “YOLO!” when they’re about the attempt the world’s highest bungee jump?
Would “trend” be a verb instead of a noun? Would “crowdfunding” be a thing? And let’s not even talk about “selfie.”
YOLO, as most know, is internet slang – an abbreviation, actually – for “you only live once,” a phrase that gained popularity in 2013 among, mostly, millennials as a way to explain why did they something while apparently using questionable judgement. Of course, something can “trend” on Twitter, as in, #laughinggoat is trending worldwide; “crowdfunding” was born when fundraising sites like GoFundMe began sprouting; and “selfie,” well, you know.
Much of today’s internet slang is simply old words given new meaning. Sometimes, the slang catches on pretty quickly, thanks to social media (“cyberbully,” for instance), and can actually become so pervasive and understood that it is given official status in the dictionary (attained by “selfie” in 2013). Other slang words, however, take longer to reach the masses or are common in only certain communities.
TNSC continues its series of public service blogs today by delving into some of the more obscure slang words being used on and about the internet. Here we go.
Cewebrity: a person who is famous due to their world-wide-web presence. Think: any one of the Kardashians.
Banhammer: a metaphorical hammer that is wielded by operators or moderators when banning one or more users from an online community.
Fat-finger: used mostly as a verb, to mean typing clumsily by striking two keys at once (usually on a handheld device) or typing extra letters.
Billy Mays Mode: a “mode” activated by a user who is typing in all capital letters. It gets its moniker from the famous infomercial presenter Billy Mays, whose delivery bordered on shouting. Ok, it was shouting. Since the internet’s earliest days, typing in caps was generally regarded as “shouting.”
Typo-squat: to occupy a domain name that is a misspelling of a popular website. For instance, a business could purchase “gooogle.com” or “youtuvbe.com” and try to capitalize on the typing mistakes (the “fat-finger”) of those trying to get to the two most popular websites on the planet.
Three-finger salute: the pressing of the “Alt” key + the “Ctrl” key + the “Del” key to reboot or unfreeze a PC computer. It’s worth remarking that this phrase is already evolving; the phrase “control-alt-delete” is also being used to describe anything someone wants to undo or clear. For example: “My presentation went so badly, I just want to control alt delete the entire day.”
“Your mileage may vary”: a disclaimer given along with advice, meaning roughly, “It worked for me, but may not work in all cases.” “I found it improved performance by 20% but your mileage may vary.”
Wurfing: Surfing the internet while at work. No, we didn’t make that up. But don’t expect to see it in Webster’s any time soon.