I love internet culture and arguably spend most of my time on the internet. It is a truly wonderful thing: at times it's a vibrant, beautiful ecosystem of ideas being exchanged, while at others it's like a dank puddle of murky water. Either way, I love it.
What I don't love about the internet is how some of its language encroaches into spoken language. I'm happy for the language to exist online and consider it almost as its own register. However, when the internet's weird lingo starts entering my ears and not my eyes, that's when I get annoyed. Here are a few of my biggest bugbears (or pet peeves to Americans) when it comes to online language that make me come close to losing my cool.
|NASA astronaut Michael Gernhardt embodying "YOLO" in 1995|
when dot-coms were just becoming household names.
The term "because" is a bit of a funny one since I have no objection to the common usage of "because". However, the internet has given rise to the construction of "because" plus a noun. For example, "I can talk this way because language". I reckon it's a quick way to make most language purists' blood boil!
Saying something is something.com is just downright stupid. My fury over this stems fully from the fact that saying "dot com" at the end of a word is not only already horrendously dated by about 20 years, it's also the kind of thing that uncool dads say when trying to be cool.
I wish people would stop using the verb "fail" when they are actually referring to a "failure", which is a noun. I also get fairly annoyed at the overuse of "epic" to describe said "fails". It's now used so often it's been demoted to the status of "moderate". This term is also often combined with the next one.
I like Twitter and understand why we have hashtags. In fact, I'm very happy to use them. Placing the "number sign" (#) before a word can help other users find content related to the word they've marked or to indicate the content is part of a particular conversation.
Using the term as a prefix irritates me beyond belief. Unless you're explaining a particular hashtag, saying hashtag is completely redundant.
LOL (an acronym for "laugh out loud") has been making the rounds online since people became too lazy to type out the onomatopaeia for laughter or explain that they found something humorous. As funny as it is when parents think "LOL" stands for "lots of love", there's nothing I find funny about using LOL in speech.
I find it annoying enough when people say "that's so funny" without actually laughing. Imagine how enraged I get when someone says "lol" in speech despite it being abundantly clear that they're not laughing out loud!
I definitely agree that people should live life to the fullest. However, as a lover of Romance languages and Latin, I wish carpe diem was used instead of this acronym for "you only live once".
You can live your life with "YOLO" as a motto. Just please don't say it to me. Leave it on the internet, where it belongs. Thanks!
What internet terms do you wish people wouldn't vocalise? Tell us in the comments below.