Ahh, the fascinating world of internet slang! Both impressive in its scope and absurd by its nature, this satirical style of commentary captures my attention completely. I relish oddities and foibles more than I can say. There is a great line in Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice regarding Lizzy Bennett: “”[She had] a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous…” That line is me. Not only do I love to read internet slang, but I thoroughly enjoy learning to use my favorite phrases correctly.
Typically, my method begins when I see a phrase that seems concise enough to suit the grammar Nazi on one shoulder and snide enough to satisfy the sarcasm genie on the other. For instance, “seems legit” was a perfect phrase for me. I found it deliciously snarky and yet short and sweet. For such a little phrase it packed a punch, and I knew as soon as I saw it posted as a comment under a glorious, badly photoshopped photograph that this was my new idiom.
Here is the thing, though: once I find a phrase I wanted to express properly, I cannot just slap it onto just any status update or picture. It is imperative that I use the expression correctly. Sarcasm can very easily be misunderstood or (far worse) sound awkward. Usage must be perfectly timed and correctly implemented.
The hunt was on! I kept my eyes peel for woebegone status updates by teenage females believing they will never find true love, an image of the President holding an upside-down telephone, or Pamela Anderson’s bosom.
My first attempt with the phrase was on a silly meme of a Scottish bagpiper. While technically the phrase would apply, I could feel the wrongness as soon as I pressed the submit button. Sure enough, the deafening silence of the internets confirmed my suspicion that my usage had been awkward and I slunk away from my laptop, shame-faced.
My next opportunity came when a Facebook friend posted a rant about her job and how she planned to quit the next day. “Seems legit,” I commented cheerfully. Sadly, I was shot down by seven of her girlfriends who were miffed at my carefree attitude. (I do want to point out that my “friend” did not quit her job the next day.)
Finally, my chance arrived. An Instagram friend posted a scanned photo of himself cut out and copied onto a postcard style photo of a surfer riding a monstrous, perfectly shaped wave. Success!! My comment was the very first response and was liked a whopping twenty seven times! Pleased with myself, I closed my laptop, folded my hands behind my head, and leaned back with a sigh of happiness. Victory was mine.
Last week I noticed someone on the internet using the word “feels” to mean strong emotions. Not sure what that’s all about, but I think I want to use it…