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"Secret" internet terms explained

When I was a kid, the term "bad" meant good, as in "that's a bad car!" This type of "secret language" has always been around. When your great-great-grandmother liked something, she called it "The bees knees". Terms that are commonly used on the internet are:

• LOL - which means that I am "Laughing out loud". There are lots of versions of this, which includes rolling on the floor (by adding ROF), etc.

• Rickroll - refers to a redirection to an unrelated destination (started by people linking to a video of Rick Astley) when you thought you were clicking on something else. It has grown beyond the internet now, and it can mean any type of funny, unexpected interruption.

• FAIL or WIN - This isn't really that tricky. It is just used to describe a situation whereby there has been lack of success, or, alternately, success.

• OWNED or PWNED - (both spellings are acceptable). This refers to someone who has failed against something, as in a skateboarder running into a stop sign.

• Troll - A troll is someone who posts a piece of nonsense on the internet just to mess with people. You can call a troll a prankster, or if you don't like that sort of thing, a vandal.

• Meme - This refers to any popular internet phenomenon, such as Rickrolling (see above), that catches the attention of a lot of people on the internet. If you want to learn more about memes, go watch Know Your Meme.

This type of thing enriches the English language. Some terms fade away. I don't hear too many people saying "groovy" any more. But when I was a kid, the grownups didn't understand the word "cool". Cool.

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