Questions about Internet-related English words and phrases.

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160
votes
6answers
24k views

What is the origin of ZOMG?

I have looked in a number of places, with contradictory results. The Urban Dictionary provides a whopping 73 "explanations", of which I will quote just a few. (Original spelling and punctuation ...
75
votes
5answers
18k 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. ...
50
votes
7answers
69k 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 ...
37
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a pre-Internet term for “gamification”?

Gamification is a relatively new term which was coined and has been made highly popular in the Internet era. From the related Wikipedia article: Though the term "gamification" was coined in 2002 ...
29
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
78k views

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

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
23
votes
8answers
19k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
51k 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. ...
20
votes
3answers
3k 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?
19
votes
6answers
7k 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. ...
16
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Meaning of “stackexchange”

What does stackexchange mean? I have checked out this link to read about the Stack Exchange Network.
14
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 ...
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 ...
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
4answers
8k 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")? ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Origin of the phrase “for the win”?

Just curious as to where "for the win" (commonly abbreviated FTW) originated?
11
votes
7answers
100k views

Appropriate replacement of “nice to meet you” for online salutation?

I would like to use “nice to meet you” in an online email exchange but I feel that meet and see are not appropriate for online use. There is also a question about it. I have also read somewhere that ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
548 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
5answers
2k views

Recommendations for non-native English speaking bloggers [closed]

What if someone who is not a native English speaker wants to write for a blog in English, but is not sure about the correctness of his writings? How could one ensure that the article won't annoy ...
9
votes
4answers
565 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.
9
votes
2answers
464 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)?
9
votes
1answer
16k 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
9
votes
3answers
177 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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.
8
votes
4answers
111k 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?
8
votes
3answers
21k 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
885 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
452 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?
8
votes
4answers
849 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
2answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
115 views

Is there a term for the phenomenon of people becoming desensitized to the extraordinary due to having access to sites like YouTube?

It seems like we have heard a succinct term for this before, but we're having trouble putting our finger on it. The idea is that due to being able to see so many incredible things on sites like ...
7
votes
8answers
4k views

Politically correct term for someone who is Internet challenged?

What is the politically correct term for someone who is not very Internet savvy?
7
votes
2answers
7k 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?
7
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k 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.
6
votes
3answers
2k 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
3answers
5k 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" ...
5
votes
8answers
3k 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
807 views

Pejorative terms for children or teenagers using the Internet

In Poland we have got many names for young children or teenagers using the Internet. For example we could see on the Internet that many have mangled the mother tongue and have been writing like this: ...
5
votes
1answer
736 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
3answers
207 views

What does salt and slug mean in IT?

salt: For web developers, exposing your .git folder to the world is a novice mistake. It allows anyone to download your entire source code repository, which often includes database passwords, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Etymology of “favourite” as a verb

The verb favourite or favorite (past tense favourited or favorited) is fairly new and isn't in many dictionaries. Two of the few are Oxford Dictionaries Online, who define it as: favourite verb ...
5
votes
1answer
627 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?