Occasionally a newly coined word, phrase or acronym derived from the Internet will make its way into everyday conversation. It’s a form of dialogue which I have yet to come to terms with.
I find it downright bizarre when a respectable media outlet popularises a term which originated online, usually conceived on a Reddit or 4Chan forum. Brands are as equally at fault, and can often result in embarassing consequences when used without consideration of the term’s origin.
There is no place for Internet speak in the real world, but it is staggering how easily these phrases firstly get picked up, but more importantly, how quickly they are incorporated into modern day speech. I’m not in support of throwaway words such as “selfie”, “bae” and “twerk” gaining dictionary status, mainly because they will expire not long after its inception, but also because they make my face contort uncontrollably. I can’t think of any longstanding words or phrases which have the same affect, and I blame Delia Smith for non-phrases becoming hastily recognised before being quickly forgotten.
The terms troll/trolling/don’t feed the trolls is equally perplexing to me. Such a name legitimises and almost encourages online abuse. Believe it or not, people take pride in being labelled a ‘troll’, so if you want to stop ‘feeding them’, start referring to them as what they are – lonely, faceless, mysogonist, rasicist. ‘Trolling’ is not prosecutable, but online abuse is. It is essentially the same thing, but the variation in terminology makes one term sound more innocuous than the other.
Now go and think it over with a muffit of tea: