Five Internet Fads to Flag a Blob

You know you’re a blob if:

A blob, as you know, is lazy, in a rut, full of excuses, a follower, not innovative, and supremely uncool. Being a blob, as you also know, has precious little to do with the line of your waist as it has to do with the line of your thinking. The following make up a (potentially endless) list of things I see in my daily Internet wanderings that grate on me. I am increasingly vexed as these things tighten my jaw, furrow my brow, and stick in my craw in the way an English teacher prickles at the careless interchange of then and than. I’m striking out against these fads by labeling them passé, unthinking, gauche, and utterly blobbish

1. Fail/Epic Fail

Jacked From: Howling For Justice

Let’s quickly dispose of the latter by clarifying that the Iliad and Odyssey are epic. Blooper out-takes on the cutting room floor of America’s Funniest Home Videos are not epic. Epic fail, in itself, then fails (epically).

Fail is just over. I freely admit that it was a creative and interesting way to communicate a thought circa twelve months ago, but to say that it has now jumped the shark hardly meets the problem head-on. Not to be a nihilist hipster about it, but fail is everywhere which means I can’t be cool anymore. Let’s develop a new way to mercilessly mock bad parents and misspelled signage.

2. Woot/w00t

Jacked From: Wikia Images

Let’s, again, quickly dispose of the latter by clarifying that numbers are only very rarely acceptably mixed with letters. So rarely, in fact, that not a single acceptable example springs to mind. In this class I’d also like to summarily dismiss letter-number amalgams b4, 2=to and/or too, and l8r. Truly, truly, these are hideous.

On the topic of Woot, I understand it as a jubilant expression of excitement or occasionally for use as moderate braggadocio (see Sheen, Charlie, “Winning”), but my understanding ends there. Who came up with it? Where did it originate? when will it die? What mist I do to be rid of it. Like Fail, Woot is annoying at first because it’s everywhere. Also like Fail, Woot is so beloved that it appears oft misused in earnest attempts to slip it into online references. And also like Fail, it simply mist be stopped.

3. FML

Jacked From: New York Post

Bad attitude. Take your glass-half-empty, self-loathing, misanthropic view of the world world and exit to the left. But before you go, may I just say that not having gum on the subway may not be a reason to F your entire L.

4. Emoticons

Jacked From: Downlopedia

My core feeling on emoticons is this: they let me know up front that your writing skills and vocabulary are both so stunted that you are utterly incapable of imparting tone without using a literal facial expression to express either what you are feeling or what you expect your reader to feel. When I see these I can only think, “FML, what an epic fail.

While we’re on the topic of typographical emotions, let’s also agree to abstain from &hearts, <3, and "hearting" things. Maybe we could pony, or daisy, or rainbow things we "soooOoOO totally luuuv" for a while, but for now I'm all hearted out.

5. Hashtags Outside the Twitterverse

Jacked From: Agent-x

There is a place for everything and everything has it’s place (except, of course for the four things I’ve just listed above, which have no place). A hashtag is a Twitter thing; it works in Twitter to group tweets on a similar topic. The hashtag evolved on Twitter beyond mere organization to be a way of being funny in Twitter (Twitty?). For example:

Original Use: “@GwynnethPaltrow, I ❤ you on #Glee!!!"

[Glee fans search #Glee to read all Tweets including #Glee so they can totally Gleek out with each other.]

Twitticism: “am I the only person in America who hasn’t paid a lick of attention to this Casey Anthony trial? #lookatallthetimeisaved”
(Credit: @BravoAndy • 7/5/11 1:02 PM)

[Hashtag is useless as a search term on Twitter, but is meant to be read as “file this one under,” in a humorous way.]

I fully support both hashtag modes ON Twitter. Off Twitter, the search function is unavailable and the humor part is mis-placed to the point of irrelevance. It just doesn’t make any sense, and in a crazy mixed up world such as this is, the least we can try to do is make a little sense.

That is all.



  1. Love the post. Love the list. I’m not sure on #5 though. I am thinking that hashtags will outlive Twitter and in classes in the future we will be asking students to identify one of the origins of hashtags as Twitter will be shelved into the bit heap of history.

    Hashtags may be one of the best things to come out of the tweetverse. As people want to organize their thought streams and if applications fail to provide tagging in some form, users will rely on this method to create easily searchable content to organize their data.

    Good luck on the Post a Week goal for the year.

  2. I get really annoyed when I see someone put ‘FML’ I’m like really ok come on can’t be that bad, it can be worse and it comes to find out that they can’t a piece of paper or the remotes out of reach. Oh man that really does ruin your life, huh?? I am however guilty of using <3, especially on facebook, cause the sight of a heart just makes me feel happy. It is also really annoying when I see the younger generation start typing like idiots for exampl3 dey will typ3 how dey tawlk, or, ThIs BoYyY iS nIiCe <– ok that took me a while to do that. Like come on you go to school for a reason.

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