I LOVE browsing through dictionaries, especially newly-published ones – I suppose it’s something of an occupational hazard! Anyway, I was flicking through one recently and came across a number of new expressions – or, in any event, new to me.
Not surprisingly, a large number arise from the world of computers, lap tops, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Words like e-cquaintance– someone you know only through the internet via a social network, the blogosphere or email. Which could easily lead to an#b# evite#b# – an online invitation. Or, perish the thought, to an ebully – someone who uses email, blogs, forums to insult, threaten or even defame. Nice! In fact, the number of defamation cases involving online content has doubled in the past year.
And what about textersation – conversation by means of texting, particularly by the textative– aficionados of text messaging. Though, it is to be hoped, not while drexting or TWD– texting while driving. And God forbid that, while driving, you make a pocket call – accidentally making a phone call inside your pocket (doubly dangerous if you’re talking about the person being called!).
So, do you know anyone who’s a webhead – an internet know-it-all, or possibly a bloggerhead– someone who does an excessive amount of blog postings, often incoherently? Or come across someone with a hairy eyeball – a sort of “evil eye” – giving you a hostile look? Hmmm. Or ever had an Aha moment – when you finally made sense of that tax return?
But then, in a far broader sense, there’s the effect of the internet on us. On our brains. “Experts” keep churning out tomes, arguing how beneficial/detrimental it all is.
Some claim that the skin-deep, fly-leaf skimming nature of the internet is a major problem. The speed of news development via its social networks means we know more, learn little and remember even less. We live now in such a very easy environment in which to tell a lie and then move on – a trick mastered by recent political spin doctors.
The assumption, too, that the only way to reach consumers on the web is by hitting them very hard with a hammer in turn reflects the feeling among some advertisers that we are all profoundly dense already.
And Plato complained that writing would destroy memory! Another Aha moment! Or was that Archimedes? I really can’t remember …
Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca