Questions about Internet-related English words and phrases.

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139
votes
6answers
19k views

What is the origin of ZOMG?

I have looked in a number of places, with contradicting results. The Urban Dictionary provides a whopping 73 "explanations", of which I will quote just a few. (Original spelling and punctuation ...
68
votes
5answers
8k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
47
votes
7answers
48k views

What did “google” mean in the 1900s?

I know that Google got its name from the word googol (10100), and that Google/google referring the search engine/using the search engine are recent additions to the dictionary. Their definitions are ...
25
votes
1answer
9k views

“Referer” or “referrer”

First of all, I'm speaking of webpage referral. Second, let me quote Wikipedia: The misspelling referer originated in the original proposal by computer "scientist" Phillip Hallam-Baker to ...
23
votes
6answers
14k views

Should the words “internet” and “web” be capitalized?

There seems to be some inconsistency on whether people capitalize the words internet and web (as in World Wide Web) as proper nouns. What is the official ruling on when or if these words should be ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there a word to describe a person who's addicted to downloading stuff from Internet?

Well, that is exactly what I am :). I just can't stop myself from downloading stuff (usually electronic articles, say, PDFs). To be more precise, whenever I come across something that I think might ...
21
votes
8answers
12k views

Should I use capitalization when mentioning a domain name?

Let's say I have a product/brand with a website, for the purpose of this question the product is called Acme and the site is http://acme.com . What's more correct when referring to the site without ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is “like” as in Facebook likes often put between quotes?

I often see people use the noun with quotes: We have received a lot of "likes." rather than: We have received a lot of likes. Why is this done?
17
votes
4answers
35k views

Where does the term “Smurfing” come from?

In multiplayer online gaming, the term "Smurf" (noun) is used to refer to an experienced player who creates a new account for the purposes of being matched against inexperienced players for easy wins. ...
17
votes
5answers
24k views

“In the Internet” vs. “on the Internet”

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin/meaning of “burninate”

I've seen the word "burninate" used around the internet a bit, most recently in this MetaSO answer. The basic meaning of it seems fairly clear, but where did this come from? An online dictionary ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you call a Q&A user who posts a question but never checks back?

I have searched for a term that describes users who post questions and then disappear without trace. These users will post and write their questions in a great flurry, sometimes ignoring the basic ...
13
votes
7answers
951 views

Meaning of “stackexchange”

What does stackexchange mean? I have checked out this link to read about the Stack Exchange Network.
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the plural acronym “CSS” treated as singular?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which is a plural phrase. One would say: Cascading Style Sheets are used to provide a central location for all of the stylings of a project. However, it ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Which English language variety is best to use for global e-commerce?

Which variety of English — like American English, British English, and so one — is better to choose when translating to Englis, or building it from scratch, for an e-commerce site which intends to ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Do people pluralize “WiFi” with an “s”?

I'm in a friendly argument with a supervisor about this one, and I'd like some data: Does one say "WiFis" when referring to multiple WiFi networks, or does one say "WiFi"? I suppose alternately, one ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Name and origin of writing with period after each word

It may be limited to the web ecosystem, but I've read a lot of those sentences lately, where each word is followed by a period. Examples: Oh. My. God. Best. Job. Ever. No. F***ing. Way. ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the correct name for posts made on twitter?

Well, I honestly tried to search for this but I drowned in twit* and tweet* results. Should I write: "my tweet" or "my twit"? "I am tweetting" or "I am twitting" ("to twit" vs. "to tweet")? ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Origin of the phrase “for the win”?

Just curious as to where "for the win" (commonly abbreviated FTW) originated?
10
votes
3answers
502 views

What is the best term to categorize a lolcat image and text?

I've seen the captions described as a dialect, patois, "kitty pidgin" and language play which is well and good but doesn't get to the key visual aspect (silly/cute/adorable cats). Wikipedia offers ...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

When is it acceptable to use Internet abbreviations such as “u” or “r”?

In my business communication over Internet text messengers, for example Google Talk or Skype, I see that many people often use shorten words like u instead of you, r instead of are and the like. How ...
9
votes
2answers
433 views

Is “tweet” a proper verb now?

So I know that in modern English, the word "google" is considered a proper verb now. Can the same be said for the word "tweet" (i.e. to post a 140-char message to Twitter)?
8
votes
4answers
541 views

Is lolspeak bad English, or just a different English?

Is lolspeak / internet speak (such as "plz send teh codez") bad English, or a different English? I can't really describe what'd be "bad", but a lack of consistency would be an indicator it's bad.
8
votes
3answers
11k views

“Home page” or “homepage”? [closed]

Is there a convention for the spelling of the name of the main page of a website? Should it be home page, with a space between the two words; or homepage, all one word?
8
votes
4answers
765 views

How to pronounce @[name] on Twitter?

@ is usually pronounced as "at", but it seems @ is a verb when it means Twitter somebody, like: @Tom for more information. Tweet Tom for more information. Contact Tom for more information. ...
8
votes
3answers
156 views

Does etymology have a word like cladistics?

A recent question on EL&U about a current hip-hop expression led my research into a meme that is evolving faster than drosophila. This expression and its variants have gone viral on internet ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Online rhyme dictionary/rhyming resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)

Anyone know of an online rhyming dictionary or rhyme resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)? RhymeZone.com doesn't have such an option.
7
votes
2answers
351 views

“Whn U Ck Me, U WL Fnd Me Sez da Lord.” in this picture (publicity)

Does the style (if it is) shown in the picture below have a particular name?
7
votes
2answers
174 views

What is the proper way to refer to the Original Poster (OP)?

In a Stack Exchange comment, I was corrected by referring to a user named alice as a "he". I said (context): I know he thinks he needs all of the eigenvalues, but I've learned that ... and was ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Referring a particular website, should I use the noun adjunct or the genitive/possessive?

I'm wondering if there are any guidelines about using the noun adjunct or the possessive with a website and a company. Should I write: go to the Twitter website or go to Twitter's website? AFAIK ...
6
votes
8answers
3k views

Politically correct term for someone who is Internet challenged?

What is the politically correct term for someone who is not very Internet savvy?
6
votes
4answers
81k views

What exactly does “fap” mean? [NSFW]

Sorry for the ridiculous question, but I can't understand the difference between fap and masturbation. Does fap mean the whole progress?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Origin of @name convention

When people refer to me on stackexchange websites they call me @broiyan. Where did this convention arise from? If it were taken from my email address, the @ symbol would be at the other end of my ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Correct spelling and/or hyphenation for electronic commerce

What is the correct spelling and/or hyphenation for the abbreviation of electronic commerce? I have seen the following variations. eCommerce E-Commerce ECommerce E-commerce
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What is “o-matic”? [closed]

I found "o-matic" in my dashboard of wordpress.com. There is "Read-o-Matic". And there are some news from staff. What does it mean? I feel it's "recommended to read", isn't it?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

When someone says “that explanation was a lot of hand-waving” what does this mean?

I've been hearing term "hand-waving" thrown around a lot, especially when my peers describe their CS(computer science) classes. Does anyone know what that term means in this context? (also a little ...
5
votes
1answer
503 views

Why does Facebook have “like's” instead of “like”s?

I'm not a native English speaker, so I'm sorry if this is obvious but I can't find an explanation. Why are "like"s usually referred to as like's on Facebook? (You can see many instances here.) To ...
5
votes
1answer
314 views

Where does the word (magic) cookie come from? [closed]

Who named the file that websites can place on your computer for, for example advertising, and what is the connection with cookie as a food?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Who invented “dooblidoo”?

The word dooblidoo is used by several different youtube channels as a different word for the youtube description bar. I've seen it used by the vlogbrothers and by PBS Idea Cahnnel. Who was first to ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

Secret origin of the dude = butthair meme

My daughter came back from Catechism today with an interesting spiritual fact. Apparently she was told that a dude is another name for butt hair. It's entry 17 or so on urban dictionary, dated 2006 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Should it be an “unlike” or “dislike” button on Facebook?

I see an increasing demand for an unlike button on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Unlike-Button/72641866357 Facebook Adds An Unlike Button For Pages May 7, 2010 Facebook "Unlike" ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

A word for moving from one website to another

Here's the situation: I browse Tumblr, and then I go to, let's say, Youtube. What is the word for the action? The noun? It's not conversion, or click-through, I just move from one website to another. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the abbreviations most commonly used on the Internet? [closed]

Every so often I see various abbreviations used on forums and blogs and whatnot, such as FYI (For Your Information) and AFAIK (As Far As I Know). What other common abbreviations are there, and what ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the origin of != in the meaning “not equal to”?

As a programmer I have always assumed that using != as meaning not equal to when writing text (usually on the internet) came from programming languages. Is this true or is the origin different?
4
votes
1answer
153 views

“Multimedia” or “media” for menu name [closed]

I'm developing a website on which photos and videos will be shared. But I couldn't decide on the main menu name to use under which there will be two subcategories Photo Gallery and Videos. Which one ...
4
votes
1answer
731 views

When did “creep” get associated with computer controlled units in games?

I first saw this term in use for neutral units in Warcraft 3 (released 2002), and then that got carried through derivatives such as Dota (2003). Was Warcraft 3 the first time creep was used as a ...
3
votes
3answers
665 views

What's the etymology of spam when talking about bulk unsolicited messages?

What does spam stand for, when talking about unsolicited (mostly advertisement) messages? The nearest possibility I found was "Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages" but it seems like too colorful to be ...
3
votes
5answers
457 views

Which is correct: “web host” or “web hoster”?

Which is the best way to refer to a company that hosts your website: My web host supports Ruby. or My web hoster supports Ruby. or My web hosting service supports Ruby.
3
votes
4answers
550 views

What do you call someone who is addicted to a Q&A website?

I was looking for a term for someone who is addicted to a Q&A website but I came up with general terms like nethead, cybernaut, netizen, internet addict etc. You can think of adjectives like ...
3
votes
6answers
345 views

What single word encompasses all of a person's social media & Internet presence?

I'm looking for a single word that describes the Internet & Social media presence of a single entity. Their digital footprint, as it were.