4 New Words We Need Because of the Internet

You've probably already heard about the Oxford Dictionary adding "twerk," "phablet," and "buzzworthy" to its online edition. Complain about the gradual decline of society and cringe at them all you want; language is designed to evolve, and we actually need those words because they describe things that exist and are a simpler alternative to, say, "masquerading an ass seizure as dancing." Unfortunately, linguistic evolution tends to take a lot of time, often failing to keep up with the ultra-fast world of Internet trends, many of which still lack proper names.

That's where I come in, because as a non-native speaker, deep down I still sort of treat English like comprehensible noise anyway. Consequently, my brain doesn't feel like it just bit into a raisin cookie thinking that it was chocolate chip when I try to invent brand new noise like ...

#4. "Infactuation"

I have a great deal of appreciation for science, but I don't really science myself. On the other hand, I know how to read a scientific source and gauge its legitimacy, which usually comes down to paying attention to details and remaining skeptical. "Infactuation" (a portmanteau of "infatuation" and "fact") is what happens when you skip all of that and proceed to blindly applaud anything vaguely science-related in a homemade cheerleader uniform, like this:


"Yeah Science, Bitch" is a popular Internet meme meant to express an informal appreciation of science and all the wonderful things it has accomplished, but the above example has less to do with actual science than a homeopathic clinic for unicorns. A closer look at the article reveals that Dr. Jim Swan, the man who thinks whiskey can fight cancer, has absolutely no data to back it up and bases it on, well ... a hunch. According to Swan, if whiskey contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, then logically it should be able to fight cancer. Actual cancer specialists, on the other hand, remain unconvinced of Swan's findings, and not just because the man is the fucking master distiller for Penderyn Whisky!

Call me cynical, but that little detail makes this "discovery" shakier than a game of Jenga played with freshly emptied beer bottles. But you probably don't see it that way if you're suffering from infactuation, because to you all "science" is great and smart and beautiful and always smells like freshly cut wildflowers and once even proved that giving blow jobs is beneficial to female health:


Incidentally, that study about the supposed depression-fighting properties of sperm chemicals was conducted not by a medical doctor but by a psychologist who based it on a survey of 293 women without even first diagnosing them with depression. But so what? "Science" just told you to put your penis in women's mouths and drown-murder your liver in whiskey. What kind of moron would ever question that?

But that's exactly my point: Science is not a box of Lucky Charms that you get to pick through looking for the occasional blow-job-shaped marshmallow (which later turns out to be a dead bug). Either you believe in the principles of the scientific method, which include data collection, testing, and verification, or you're just looking for something cool to put on your T-shirt.


That picture, and many others like it, comes from the largest science-related page on Facebook: I fucking love science, which collects easily digestible graphics and quotes somewhat connected to science, and on September 16 even posted a picture of a pie that's gotten over 40,000 likes and 10,000 comments:

It's a Venn piagram! Get it? Science!

But don't get me wrong. It's probably better for everyone to be for science than against it, even if so many people are treating it like a password to a secret club with a "No dumb people allowed, LOL" sign hanging in front. That's cool. It's no different from wearing an obscure band T-shirt to feel superior to the mainstream masses, but it also needs a name. A name that says "Hey, I think dinosaurs and robots are neato burrito, but most of my knowledge of them comes from Jurassic Park and Futurama." I believe that name should be "infactuation."

#3. "Quint"

People like to be told that they're smart or pretty. I get that, because I've related to basically every overweight standup comic in history. But it's always best to get your self-esteem from your friends and family, who've been conditioned through millennia of societal development to keep you from becoming depressed and loath-eating all of the village's food supply. If, however, you attempt the same thing with strangers and try to be sneaky about it by posting "I'm so ugly" comments on Facebook, someone will come along and do what the Internet does best: quint you right in your sense of self-worth.

Facebook via Failbook

Named after Quint -- Robert Shaw's character in Jaws who went hunting for a shark but was instead sharked to death -- to be quinted means to have one's attempts at fishing for compliments brought to a brutal end. It can range from others bluntly refusing to play your praise-hunger games ...

Facebook via Failbook

... to more advanced quinting, where a bunch of people discuss everything about your picture/post except the one thing you wanted to hear, until you're thiiiis close to yell-typing "GOD DAMMIT, JUST TELL ME I'M PRETTY/SMART!"

Facebook via Lamebook

You might think that this sort of thing doesn't happen that often, in which case, God bless you, dear stranger. Your worldview hasn't yet been corrupted from spending way more time on the Internet than is healthy/logically possible. But having been blessed with the physical constitution of mashed potatoes and a disdain for sports that rivals that of soccer riot victims, I basically live on the Internet, where quinting is an everyday occurrence. Some pages are already collecting stories of fishing for compliments online and the occasional quinting that results from them. Hell, folks are even making meme comics about this Internet phenomenon, despite there not being a name for it.


Until now. Now we have "quint."

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Cezary Jan Strusiewicz

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