Questions about Internet-related English words and phrases.

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120
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
44
votes
7answers
36k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
30k 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. ...
13
votes
7answers
850 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
906 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
12k views

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

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
11
votes
1answer
762 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Origin of the phrase “for the win”?

Just curious as to where "for the win" (commonly abbreviated FTW) originated?
10
votes
3answers
465 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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. ...
9
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
521 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
5k 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
2answers
400 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
702 views

How to pronounce @somebody for 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
121 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
340 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
149 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
3answers
2k 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.
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Politically correct term for someone who is Internet challenged?

What is the politically correct term for someone who is not very Internet savvy?
5
votes
4answers
56k 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
815 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 ...
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
1k 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
2answers
3k 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?
4
votes
1answer
145 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
535 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
85 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?
4
votes
1answer
766 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
539 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
397 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
6answers
12k views

Phrases similar to “pleased to meet you”

What phrases can I use instead of pleased to meet you? I'm especially interested in using it as a greeting when chatting to a person for the first time online.
3
votes
1answer
490 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
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Where did ::action:: come from?

Sometimes during instant messaging, people will want to express an action, possibly something where an acronym doesn't exist for, yet. The formula is generally opened by two colons, an ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

What's the proper pronoun when performing an action in IRC?

In IRC chats you can "perform an action" with the /me command. It changes the way the text looks so that it's a little more third person and narrative. Here's an example: chmullig: I'm really hungry ...
3
votes
1answer
458 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
770 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
24k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

What is the correct way to format an author's name in an APA citation when only a username is known? [closed]

I am trying to cite the image at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shoe-parts-en.svg. However, how would I cite the autors/contributors, since I don't know their actual name. Do I just cite their ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

IT-related synonym for “context” [closed]

I'm developing an application which has an "Event" system that basically allows application extensions to attach events to a certain "context". When the application reaches a context, it will fire ...
2
votes
8answers
1k 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
629 views

Alphanumeric abbreviations in English

I've been running across some interesting abbreviations on the internet. For example: b4: before w8: wait I find it clever because you use just 2 letters to express a longer word. What's the ...
2
votes
3answers
534 views

Does the word “troll” necessarily have negative connotations?

Does the word "troll" necessarily imply negative connotations? More specifically, can the word "troll"/"trolling" be legitimately used to describe a posting which is clearly made with intent of ...
2
votes
4answers
759 views

Capitalizing a lower case screen name at the beginning of a sentence

When starting a sentence with a lower case pseudonym, such as a screen name of a user account on a website, should it be capitalized? Or are there different cases where it would and would not be ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Category name for “Other fun stuff” vs “Other serious stuff”

On my website, I currently have seven categories. Games Art Music Video Text Other Misc "Other" is for other things that are fun, like games, art, music, video, and text. For example, a fireworks ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

Citation of internet webpages that have limited lifetimes [closed]

Some websites, especially news websites, either leave up content for limited periods, or archive content after a few days and charge readers to access their archives. It seems to me that citations in ...