Mar 232011
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

As this is our first column since returning from our spring break trips, we were feeling refreshed enough to write a deeply scientific, investigative report comparing and contrasting the possible anticompetitive practices of AT&T’s proposed buyout of T-Mobile to other high profile buyouts in recent history.

Then we sobered up and decided to write a guide to humorous Internet slang instead. You’ve probably seen some of these before, but read on and we’ll do our best to explain some historical origins of these terms as well.

1. “Rickrolling” –– This was one of the most widespread Internet memes (contrary to our poorly endowed friend Mat’s beliefs, we’re talking about brains people, the word is pronounced meeeeeeeeeeeem not may may) of the past five years. The concept is simple –– send someone a link disguised as something they’ll excitedly click on, but in reality, it’s a link to the music video for Rick Astley’s 1980s hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” This trend started on image board 4chan when someone changed the still-image “duckrolling” trend to video by posting a fake link to the much-anticipated “Grand Theft Auto” trailer.

2. Tweet –– The action of shouting into the void. See waste of time.

3. “pwned” –– Everyone probably knows this gamer term meaning “owned,” but how many know how it came about?

Years ago, a popular computer based real-time strategy game called XXXxX had a glitch in its IM chat function, causing the character “o” to display as “p.”

Whenever a player got “owned” in-game and the dominating party chatted about it, they became “pwned” instead. The term quickly spread to other games.

4. “Lolcat” –– We’d like to add an important distinction to this term. Lolcats started out as pictures of cats with humorous captions, but in recent years they have exploded to include pictures of any animal. Despite this, we still get blank stares and an incredulous “That’s not a cat” comment from anyone in earshot when we still call a captioned picture of say, a sloth, a lolcat. This has got to end. “Lolsloth” is not in the Internet’s vernacular.

5. –– Ok, this isn’t so much a term as it is our featured web site of the week. We’re including it because few people outside of our group of friends seems to have heard of it, despite it being one of the most trafficked humor/culture image blogs in the world. There are a lot of running jokes on the site, but if you need a starting point, head over to their “Daily Afternoon Randomness” section. (To the haters out there: yes, we know many of the memes on thechive don’t originate there, but some of us occasionally like to avoid spending too much time on 4chan if there’s not a toilet nearby to throw up in).

6. Troll –– This is a big one. The concept of trolling may be tough to grasp for anyone who doesn’t spend much time in the comments sections of news sites or sites featuring user-generated content.

At the dawn of Web 1.0, early computer geeks started a not-socially-awesome trend of showing superior-intellect by quickly correcting anything “wrong” they found on the Internet, often discourteously. It’s a trend that still exists today, but now there are those who fight these rude people (aka “flamers”); they are known as trolls. They say stupid and/or inflammatory things to intentionally incite a reaction from the flamers.

Good trolls continue the dialogue as long as possible, often reducing the flamers to ridiculous, incoherent babbling strings of cursewords. It makes for some of the beet humor on the Internet.

7.HIP5T3R –– This one’s a really obscure Internet term, were not surprised you haven’t heard of it. We’re not going to define this one because it’s not really mainstream so you really don’t need to worry about it.

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer are proud to say this is our first column to be (mostly) word-processed on a mobile phone. Send feedback to

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