Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"popular" online slang

I was pleased to see that Nathan did some work looking into the real popularity of those internet abbreviations often listed in publications on the subject. It has often been my experience that half of the slang terms, abbreviations, and emoticons listed in glossaries of the same have been terms I had never seen before reading the glossary and never saw after. I imagine some poor hapless reader of a feature on internet slang going into a chat room and looking foolish rather than savvy by reading terms from a list. I think many of these list-makers miss the important fact that internet culture is not monolithic - different slang, abbreviations and inside jokes exist in different communities. groups based on being fans of certain bands or tv-shows have slang or abbreviations for pertinent characters or albums. some straightforward symbols are common - :), lol, brb, ttyl. But most slang terms are so community-specific any purported guide to all the internets will be, well, misguiding.

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