Published: May 27, 2016 12:00:00 PM

two-statues.pngBi-partisanship is bad enough in America, and in the world, thanks to the wedge issues Republicans jammed into their palms in the early 2000s, and along with that, the need for subtlety was dragged down to the ocean floor. Combined with written information's ultra-proliferation, and non-empathetic interaction rising at roughly the same time, we've arrived at an Internet with its own weird, sad twin-language.

The need for singular, specific words lessened, as there were fewer states of mind we were capable of properly conveying via the internet's dominant, limiting pathways. There was no need to mold words together into thoughtful exercises that may exercise a reader, too. The internet defined its own shorthand lexicon and repeated the words and phrases until they were sub-cultural memes, a streamlined text-form communication fit for the medium.

Making Sense Of The Internet's Sad, Weird Twin-Language

Language develops naturally in isolated environments. The faster two communicators can share thought, the clearer the path to sustained growth can be. While the growth might be ill-conceived or in the wrong direction, it is growth, nonetheless. Humans are nothing, if hungry for growth, to make their minds understood by others, in hopes that the counter-recognition will lengthen their lifespan.

"I mean no harm."

"I do mean harm."

"Don't kill me, I have something of value."

"We share something in common."

That's a hereditary cavmane / clan-instinct not truly required of life-forms as we exist today, at least not as internet-using Americans. Enough of that though, let's got to the weirdness: words and language that have become part of the internet's ur-vocabulary shorthand.

  • "Disruption" has lost all definition. Want to disrupt something? Take time to think. Move slower, not faster.
  • "Innovation" is thrown around with a cavalier attitude. Rare is the moment when you don't have to argue that, no, this change is a qualified, quantifiable innovation, we swear! The need for something to be innovative -- a product, a movie, a thought -- when it usually isn't, forces that something into an ill-fitting box. Try different, more appropriate words.
  • "Groan-worthy" paints a faded picture of tasteless nut-huggers. It's a thing worth groaning at? What sort of groan? You can groan in a lot of situations. It's usually used as a negative. Is it a fun / bad groan? To paraphrase a line that jerks on the internet love, "when everything dispelasing is groan-worthy, nothing is."
  • "Cringe-inducing" is either too many words, or too few. Cringing is a reaction of embarrassment. Embarrassment is your problem, being insecure with one's actions. True, finding a centering feeling to help you feel comfortable with your own tastes is a lifetime effort, and most people tongue-bathing online message boards are aimless youngin's, they might not be comfortable yet. Best way to become comfortable with yourself is to gradually break away from the pack, dudes.
  • "TFW" means THAT FEELING WHEN, and it's an acronym of a thought's fragment. Go straight to jail if you need to turn a fragment into an acronym.
  • "Painfully unfunny." Really? "Painfully?" You have an internet connection and are writing about this? 99% of people using this term don't know what real pain is.
  • "Ridiculously awesome" is an adverb attached to an adjective. You're telling me you can't do better? This is the new "uhh" to start a sentence. You're too afraid to fully form a justification for your enjoyment of an experience or product, so it's just silly-great? Think harder.
  • "Utter failure?" Do you mean "total failure?" This appears often in video game and film reviews' comments sections. You can always tell a person has grown up reading genre fiction, C.S. Lewis, and internet message boards when they attach extra-wordy language when it isn't appropriate. You'll see a word like "utter" show up like they're describing a horseback cavalry clash, instead of X-Men Apocalypse. Then no other non-conversational English shows up for the rest of their thoughts, and simple deduction suggests they've never slept outdoors in their entire life.
  • "Jaw-dropping." You just read that on a movie poster!

What do you think? Has the craft of human thought over the dominant communication avenue been lessened as we try to say as much as we can, as fast as we can, reducing the specificity of our feeling?

-- Alex Crumb
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