Language is the clunky, elderly brother of technology. Its official versions are often updated at most once a year in rickety, immense paper volumes, and even those are woefully behind the times: last month, for instance, the Oxford Dictionary announced added terms such as ZOMG, NSFW, nekkid and lappy to its quiver of acceptable words, bringing one of the official documents of the English language up to speed with the thorny lexical debates of 2003. But the dictionary is far removed from the front lines of vocabularic trenches, a distance that breeds discontent at the buffering lag between The Things We Know Exist and The Things That Have Official Easy To Use Terms So People Know What I’m Blathering About.
The six proposed terms below — assembled using a full flush of portmanteu skills and Seussian word engineering — are long overdue to enter the world already.
Sending a uniform message out across all social media, blogging and online platforms all at once, often used in a matter of crowd-sourcing or traffic baiting.
The individual terms that make up parts of this include: Facebooking, tweeting, Tumbling, blogging, posting, Buzzing, etc., but in this cross-platform world we live in the need now exists for one term to unite them all like a mighty internet-age Voltron of linkage. No savvy blogger or publication ever limits an item to one social media outlet when so many exist that can help spread the message to varied groups of fans.
Synonyms: Metaworking, Post-tron
Example: “We got a good response to Sue’s post seeking to crowd-source the question of which cheap beer goes best with bodega buffalo egg sandwiches after we blogcast it out to a combined 7,000 followers.”
Alternate use: Can be used for a generic term in reference to any sort of social media or digital message when the speaker is unclear of the origin of said item. Example: “That link to the video of the sadomasochist cats in McCarren Park that Conal blogcasted yesterday was certainly disturbing.”
2. Opportunity cross
The alignment of two perpendicular “walk” signals that allows you to cross a normally busy street at a diagonal angle.
This occurs at certain intervals near my apartment in Brooklyn at the normally chaotic fustercluck of honking horns, screeching sirens, annoying trilling dollar vans and general fossil-fuel-powered jerkbaggery that fills our environs with the angry clouds of exhaust and SUV-on-SUV hatred, often impenetrable even to the whistle of the frustrated traffic cops. But every so often, the clouds part and walk signals on both Flatbush and Fourth avenues light up simultaneously, those little white crossing dudes reaching over the intersection to high five each other, and the attentive pedestrian can beat a shortcut to safety across the street in less than half the regular time.
Synonyms: Crossmet (as in: kismet), The Magic Triangle
Example: “Look, it’s an opportunity cross! RUN YOU LAZY SON OF A BITCH I’M NOT MISSING THIS.”
Randomly running into someone on the sidewalk, store, or anywhere in an otherwise overwhelmingly large city, when either or both of you are too busy/ on the phone/ trying to catch a train to stop and talk.
This happens with stunning frequency in New York, a city of 8 million, where you still run into the people you recognize enough to make it feel like you’re bumbling around downtown Mayberry. As a slight side note, if you’ve ever read Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody, he debunks the whole “small world” phenomenon: we encounter the people we have connections with because we share more habits than we realize, putting us into smaller and smaller subsets of the population. I passed by a friend I haven’t seen in a long time in a bike lane on the way to work, but we’re only there because we make up the relatively small subset of people who a) use bicycles, b) live in this certain neighborhood and c) Don’t have regular 9-5 job hours. I ran into a friend’s roommate randomly on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg one day because we’re both a) mid-day alcoholics and b) insufferable hipsters. But with all the random connections in this city, it’s impossible to stop and have even a cursory conversation with everyone. This leads to a phenomenon of drive-by friending, the feeling where you both recognize how unexpected it is to see the other person in said place, but have no time to explore this curiosity.
Synonyms: DBF (Drive By Friending), passpals (noun)
Example: “I saw your roommate Dez on Bedford, but we just circumglanced because she was on the phone and I was running late for my DIY foie gras workshop.”
Recognizing that you have two or more friends who mutually and unexpectedly know each other on Facebook or Twitter.
It’s a uniquely modern curiosity to see two of your friends start talking back and forth on Twitter and realizing you are not their mutual connection. Sometimes they’re high school friends, sometimes they met at a networking event, sometimes they’re just online pen pals. To further the “small world” problem, one time I friended someone to find we had three mutual friends, all of whom were from disparate groups of my social circles, none of whom knew each other. But we were all a) writers in b) Brooklyn where everyone is and c) fiendishly self-aware of our online personas, so our subsets overlapped significantly.
Synonyms: Socialdipity, cross-pollination
Example: “Eric and I had never met in person but when we became Facebook buddies, we had so many coincifriends I was pretty sure he was trying to steal my boxer shorts.”
5. Queue balls
The feeling joyful but sad self-controlled anticipation you get right before you are about to finish an entire series on Netflix.
This differs from the broader audience feeling of shared remorse that accompanies a show’s proper finale during its original run, like the national emotion that was spread across America’s couches when shows like M*A*S*H or even Full House took their final bows. The on-demand Netflix era has turned series consumption into a flexible, personal journey, free of the chaffing collar of rigid TV schedules.
Now, you can flood as many episodes in a row into your face space as you can handle. Then there’s the sense of denial of pleasure that comes at leaving those last few episodes hanging out there untouched, a golden ring waiting to be grabbed, a big fracking delicious entertainment pie sitting on the windowsill waiting to be tasted. You have a sense of personal accomplishment that comes from reaching the end on your own. I have a friend who refuses to watch the last episode of Arrested Development. If it doesn’t end for me, he says, it never ended.
Synonyms: Queuebating, hypertainment, “approaching the Flixpiration date”
Example: “Charlie was giving himself major queue balls holding out that last Veronica Mars episode, but once he finally gave in, man what a fucking disappointment.”
Affectionate feelings that develop entirely over reading someone’s tweets and/or blog posts without ever having actually met in person.
This is not quite a real crush, because it’s one that would likely be shattered once the digital persona is matched up to a real-world version. But there are situations where someone’s voice, humor and judicious selection of whom to follow, combined with the alluring mystery of the hyper-small pixilated profile pic, makes the crush fall somewhere at the breach of fantasy and possibility, enough to inspire a phalanx of hopeful RTs and linkbacks. Because just maybe she’ll notice the incoming link. And then, I will have a chance at being her incoming link.
Synonyms: Pre-date, prospecting … Wait, no: All this is already called stalking.
Example: “I have such a twitcrush on [REDACTED] that I enlarged the picture 300 times to get a better look, then searched for traces of her on Flickr and found a blog post she wrote in high school price checking boutique do grooming services. SO WHY WON’T SHE RESPOND TO MY SUPER KNOWLEDGEABLE @ REPLIES?!”