Way back in college, when we were forced to learn Latin, (Note: I don’t know why would-be pharmacists are required to know a dead language), we realized that we sort of have a facility for languages. Now that we think about it, maybe we should have pursued this and focused all our energies on becoming linguists. For now though, we are content with expanding our vocabulary, as well as “collecting” neologisms or “newly coined terms, words, or phrases that may be commonly used in everyday life but have yet to be formally accepted as constituting mainstream language.” With that said, check out our list of some of the best words drawn from the digital world.
A combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing,’ crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding from a group people, usually online. As dailycrowdsource.com puts it, “the idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.” The best example of crowdsourcing would be Wikipedia– instead of hiring professional researchers, writers, and editors, the job is given to anyone (read: interested parties) who is willing to help create the most comprehensive encyclopedia this world has ever seen.
We all have that friend who seems to never stay at home, at least judging from their check-ins on Foursquare. According to dictionaryupdate.com, geobragging refers to “repeated status updates noting your location in a desperate attempt to get attention.” It could also mean “incessantly talking about the places you’ve been,” or spending more time updating your Facebook status to show your “friends” that your life is all about visiting the trendiest spots on earth.
If someone tweets a picture of his or her lunch with the hashtag #yum, you’ll immediately understand that what he or she is eating is supposed to be delicious. In 1920s America, however, the # sign didn’t mean “a function code for social interaction.” It “served as a shorthand for weight in pounds and was adopted by telephone engineers at Bell Labs in the 1960s as the generic function symbol on their new touch-tone phones.”
Is there anything more satisfying than telling someone who just spent the last 20 minutes explaining why his or her phone service (more info) is the best, “meh?” Aside from communicating indifference, “meh” doesn’t just apply to telephone-related issues but also to anything under the sun about which you just want to say “OK, whatever.” Its first recorded usage was in a 1995 episode of The Simpsons but “some theories trace ‘meh’ back to the disdainful Yiddish term mnyeh.”
Unless you are dealing with trolls, you will find that most Internet users abide by a “social code of network communication” known as netiquette. An example would be not posting or e-mailing something that you normally wouldn’t say to a person’s face. Another would be respecting other people’s time and bandwidth. A practical application of this is to not post the same note to the same newsgroup more than once, especially if you are not 100 percent sure that the information you are passing along will benefit the people in said newsgroup.
Ever received an e-mail at work from a friend and it happened to contain an attachment that your boss or colleagues should never ever see? For times like this, you need to tell your friend to let you know if what he or she is sending is NSFW (not safe for work). Usually, this applies to e-mail, videos, and links that may contain nudity, pornography, or profanity, which you do not want to be seen accessing in a public or formal setting such as at school or work.
We’re no fans of Eminem, but we’re grateful to him for introducing a word we are overly fond of using when we visit forums. Defined as “an overzealous fan and supporter of a celebrity,” a stan is “prone to hyperbole and extremism.” It is worth noting that ‘Stan’ is the official name of Eminem’s fan base, taken after the rapper’s song about an obsessed fan, which became popular in 2000.