Hello and welcome to the interwebs. If you think you’ve been Englishing right until now, you may be a little outdated. Here’s a dictionary.
They say knowledge is power, and yet non-fiction books make terrible batteries.
Regardless, I unknowingly used this idea (NO NOT THE BOOK ONE SHEESH) as a child to turn into an English troll and mean-spiritedly correct everyone everywhere I could.
20 years ago, the phrase ‘English troll’ would have meant some kind of fairy-tale monster who lived under a bridge and drank tea while watching football (i.e. REAL football, soccer) while thinking about popping down to the shop for some crisps, or maybe some fish and chips wrapped up in a newspaper.
Now, most people know what the phrase ‘English troll’ implies: Someone who uses English to mock others.
This is because language evolves.
Gone are the days when I could correct people for misspelling a word or for using the wrong one. Kind of makes you wonder what the point of all those English classes at school was, but let’s examine some English in the wild nonetheless.
This word obviously originated as a typo but has since taken on a new meaning: “the word ‘the’, but somehow stronger and/or weaker”.
For instance, if I describe someone as being ‘the worst’ that means I don’t like them. If I describe someone as being ‘teh worst’, then it could signify multiple things: It could mean that I think they’re the worst thing ever, or that I don’t even care about them, or it could mean absolutely nothing.
How do we know the difference? Context.
Having said that, there’s supposed to be a dynamic where you misspell things to indicate your lack of concern for a topic, but most people ignore spelling so much that this becomes genuinely hard to gauge.
Another obvious typo origin here, but with the added mockery of using the actual word ‘one’. I love this one because it requires accuracy to perform and the mockery is inherent in the message: “I can English better than you.”
English is now a verb.
The only way you can use this properly is if you know that you shouldn’t use it – but if you don’t know that you shouldn’t use it then you’re still adding to the evolution of the English language like some sort of nerd. That’s Englishing right! Or is that just ironic?
No, it’s not ironic. It’s apt or maybe poetic justice, as with most usages of the word ironic in the modern world. Ironic means ‘is the exact opposite of the literal meaning’. Oh wait – I see where the confusion comes from now.
Literal is supposed to mean ‘exactly as is written’. Now it also means ‘figurative’, which is the exact opposite of ‘literal’. That’s either complete idiocy or transcendent genius.
My favourite usage of this is in the Vermintide Reddit – people will complain about things that they know don’t matter (“This symbol is the wrong shade of red!”) and then mark the post with the phrase “LITERALLY UNPLAYABLE”.
Which is kind of sarcastic, really.
Sarcasm is when you try to hurt someone’s feelings on purpose. It’s not irony and it’s not being trite. Well, it wasn’t, I should say. It is now. How sarcastic! Wait, I meant ironic.
Hey, you can’t tell me how to speak – that’s why we have freedom of speech!
Actually Freedom of Speech simply means that the Government can’t imprison you purely for speaking your mind in public. They can still imprison you for breaking other laws though, such as disturbing the peace or using abusive language.
Freedom of Speech is not the idea that you can say whatever you want without any social consequences – it’s the idea that you can say whatever you want and then deal with the social consequences – they just won’t be ‘fines’ or ‘jail’. This is why Westboro Baptist church are allowed to walk around being loud-mouthed hate-filled jerks. Remember those guys? Meh.
Means “I don’t really care about the object and/or topic of my previous sentence” and is currently being shortened to ‘eh’ – which is different from ‘eh?’ which still means exactly what it should. Not for long, probably – but still.
Cool Story, Bro!
This means “nobody cares”. I could go on, but this whole thing is getting a bit namjef now.
This means “nobody cares, and also shut up you stupid nerd”. The origin of this meme is far too complex to explain, but it can be shortened to namjef if required because I just said so. It’s annoying af and I love it.
This means ‘as f*ck’, and is a perfect abbreviation: It bypasses the taboo word ‘f*ck’, and is much easier and quicker to type.
This is the ultimate piece of mobile/internet slang. It cleverly avoids the whole you’re or your issue and is also much easier and quicker to type. I’d be happy to see this word replace both of them, personally.
Or would I?
I’m certainly Englishing right, but am I just trolling?
Oh – maybe I should have started with this one. Meh.
Anyway, if you’re not a youngster, trolling means “deliberately being abrasive, probably to make some kind of a point.”
If you’re a youngster, I think it now means “I am communicating with another human on the internet in any fashion whatsoever and also spelling is for nerds.”
Or, more likely, I’m just some oldboi who doesn’t understand modern English. I mean, that’s certainly not impossibru.