The above is a map of the internet made by some very clever and obviously quite bored people at opte.org. You’ve probably guessed by now, and I have mentioned it a few times: I’m a bit of an internet junkie. And with such an addiction comes a certain new language.
You all know of text speak – missing out the vowels of every possible word, substituting words for single letters etc. Well, ever since the rise of tools such as MSN, text speak has been used on the internet. From forums to Facebook you will find this abbreviated language just about everywhere you look on the internet. Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a diatribe against the decline of grammar, I’ll save that for a rainy day when everything is annoying me.
As with any language, the widespread use of it leads, among other things, to its evolution, and the creation of new words. I’m going to list my favourite nerd-words below:
Short for “laugh out loud”. Anybody who tells you otherwise is retarded.* Formerly used to mean “lots of love” though this usage of the word is almost unheard of today. I used to hate lol with a passion and I successfully managed to remove it from my vernacular for several years. I have since returned to using it but not in the way some people use it: at the beginning and end of every sentence, when there’s nothing to say, when there is something genuinely funny, when there is something totally unfunny, when there is something you think is funny but you’re just not sure etc. etc.
Lol has become quite commercially recognised with the rise of lol-cats. Those impossibly funny pictures of kittehs stealin ur cookiez.
Recently lol has been used in the plural – lolz, and in a combined form with cakes – lolcakes. rofl has been given a similar treatment, watch out for “roflcopter”, combining rofl and helicopter.
While not a word unique to the internet (it is plain English after all) it has been made widely popular by the internet gaming sensation that is World of Warcraft. If something is big, good, or generally better than good it is epic.
Epic can be combined with the words “fail” or “win” depending on the circumstances.
To pwn, verb: a typo of the word “own” which passed into common usage. Can be conjugated like the verb “to own”: ‘i totally pwned him’ is typically used when you get one up on somebody. Sometimes when pwned is used, the e is omitted or replaced by a number 3, giving pwnd and pwn3d. respectively.
The problem with pwn is that it has no vowels and as such is very difficult to pronounce in any kind of convincing manner. The letter O was there for a reason it seems.
A n00b, short for newbie, is somebody who isn’t really that good at a certain activity. Also made popular from WoW, n00bs are the people who have just joined the game (or maybe they just don’t get it) who are most frequently killed by people with higher brain functions.
N00bs can also be people who just run around ruining the game for everyone else in games such as Call Of Duty. While respectable players of the game will use skill to blow their opponents to pieces, n00bs tend to camp in one spot with an RPG and not engage themselves as much as they really could. Sure, there is a place for RPGs and campers, but not at the top of the ladder.
Not to be confused with WTF, FTW is an abbreviation of the phrase “for the win”. While this makes no plausible syntactical sense, it’s just generally used when somebody sees or does something they like: ‘lol i totally pwned those n00bs FTW’
This word gained popularity through fail videos: videos of people attempting things and totally failing. Often these events are quickly bombarded with a host of internet comments “EPIC FAIL” being the most common.
Obviously the opposite of a fail, this can also be used instead of fail if the event in question maybe contains two people. For example:
This video is entitled “Suspect Win” but it could also be called “Police Frisk Fail” …from a certain point of view.**
Originally the noise Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster made when he was chowing down on one of his favourite ‘chocolate chippy’ cookies, NOMNOMNOM has been popularised with the rise of lolcats (those kittehs iz hungwy). After all, the lolcats website is icanhascheezburger.com.
If anything is being eaten (or indeed eated) the noise OMNOMNOMNOMNOM must be said or typed.
So go ahead – traverse the internet with a better knowledge of its language! Yes, I’m sure there are some I’ve forgotten and I know there’s some I’ve missed out but I don’t care.
For those of you still interested, I’ve written a bit more on the All You Need To Know About Andy chronicle that can be found at the tab at the top of the page.
*I once saw it said that lol stands for “laugh online”. I had a seizure that day.
** Epic nerd points if you can name the film quote. Double that if you can say the next line. Leave your answers in the comments below.
If only, if only…