Internet Linguistics

A plethora of words born or invented after the internet have unfortunately become an intrinsic part of our lives. They have made their way into our daily language and I dislike them intensely, beginning with the word welp. What the hell is welp? Who uses it and why? A lot of people on facebook and twitter, I discovered this morning. It may not be in the dictionaries yet, but it is on the Merriam-Webster radar of words to watch. Here’s what they had to say on the matter:

We regret to inform Twitter that welp is a word, even if it’s not in the dictionary. Welp is a synonym of the interjection well, which is used to express surprise or signal the beginning of a comment or discussion (“Well, what have we here?” “Well, you’re never going to believe this, but…”). But welp has a sense of resignation and finality that well often doesn’t have:” (source:

Geez, what is the world coming to? Then there are all those other words that have taken on completely new meanings ever since social media took flight. The current usage of the words are social-media based and not the original meanings, so there are a lot of confused generations out there, one that doesn’t understand the new meaning, the other that never knew the original definition. Talk about communication gaps!

Selfie – the ultimate ego trip and manifestation of self-centredness. I have an utter disdain for the concept.
Friend / Un-friend – what happened to making friends, becoming a friend, being a friend? No, today it is simply Friend him/her on facebook. Unfriending someone has become the baseline of virtual relationships now, a clear sign of desiring no further contact or communication. Whatever happened to talking?
Follow / Un-follow – I understand follow to involve feet, most of the time, a physical action that involves observation and gathering of information. Or there is the academic type that observes the unfolding of socio-political events. Now it has been twisted to mean clicking a button on a social media platform to receive everything this person uploads to the internet. The trouble with following someone is that you end up with a lot of garbage.
Troll – this used to be a mythical figure, the stuff of fairy tales. Now it is a verb?! And it has nothing to do with the fishing context involving a fishing line and bait, but snooping around for gossip, or to use this information in a malicious manner and provoke an argument.
Woot / w00t – I would not be caught dead using this word. Ever. Even if it is meant to be an exclamation of joy. I suppose it is no better than yippee, yay or yahoo
Noob / n00b – a newcomer, or more colloquially, a newbie. Why can’t people just use the proper word?
Stan – no, there is no d missing at the end of the freaking word. It is not an abbreviation for Stanford either. Stan by me and support the cause… go figure, it is stronger than just being a fan.
Spill the tea – what did the humble tea ever do to deserve this abominable status? No, we no longer spill the (coffee) beans to tell a juicy story, but thanks to the drag queen lingo we throw / spill the tea to unmask someone.

Then there are words that are internet exclusive that were born out of instant messaging which simply aggravate me and complicate lives:

TLDR (too long, didn’t read)
FOMO (fear of missing out)

Honestly, if you don’t know half the words on this short list, you should be proud of yourself. Do you begin to see the pattern? Most of the words have emerged from social media, where the name of the game is information at all costs, good or bad, true or fake, exposure and unmasking, cyber bullying and ego tripping. Chivalry and discretion is as good as gone.

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