Oh, pop culture, how we adore you. You’re what gets us talking now, but we didn’t have you a couple of decades ago. You’re a hell of a lot younger than us writers here (takes a moment to sob uncontrollably).
Read on for the 6 pop culture references we didn’t have 20 years ago in the English language. Will you be LOLing by the end of the post? Dang we’re bad at telling you about spoiler alerts beforehand (that happens when we drink in the middle of the day).
Internet slang doesn’t get any more basic than LOL. It stands for Laugh Out Loud, of course, although this may be a lightbulb moment for you if you’ve lived under a rock for years now. Let us know if you want us to explain other important sh*t to you like why you need to know Harry Potter but not Harry Styles. Side note: Variations on LOL include LMFAO, LOLZ, and ROFL.
Type the word “wireless” into Google and you’ll come up with headphones, speakers, earbuds, and (almost) every other technology that we waste hours a day using. It appears to be the wireless age, which is a hyper-extension on Wi-Fi in every form imaginable. Maybe the Mayans were wrong and the world didn’t end because we needed to stay alive to enjoy wireless tech. By the way, being a geek is now cool, rather than a reason to cower in the corner at parties, in case you missed that newsflash too.
For some reason, the emoji brings us a lot of joy. We add it to text messages, Facebook posts, and anywhere else our smartphone lets us insert it with a click of a button. Why? Because nobody can see our facial expression is really super bored while we’re at home telling everyone on our iPhone that we’re living a highly-satisfied life with smiling faces with open mouths, kissing faces, and, for course, the cat face with tears of joy.
Perhaps this is an extension of #3? Truthfully, when DON’T you want to say WTF these days? Imagine Chandler from Friends saying that line. There is so much to respond to these days with “What the F*ck”, from people who try to outrun trains to pretty much any photo you see on the People of Walmart website.
With the rise of social media and chat room popularity, comes (of course) people pretending to be who they’re not. I mean, we did have disguises before the Internet, but we couldn’t very easily talk to someone in person or by phone and pretend to be a different gender. It’s so much easier through Facebook and other online platforms now to “catfish” someone or create false personas to deceive people. If you’re lucky enough to get hooked, you might win an empty bank account or receive pervy images.
OK, I totally get that the spirit animal is part of pagan religion and used to show traits you supposedly have. But since when did a Mortal Kombat character or Ariana Grande become a spirit animal? People are taking this crap too far, and we’re sick of it. Okay, we’ll stop being such a downer. Pop culture is, er, interesting. Better?
Another cultural reference you’ll come across during your five-star Golden Arches meal is the word “fail.” If you are told what you did is a “fail,” it means you suck, are lame, and a loser. Don’t take it personally as plenty of things fail, from people who can’t name every character in The Simpsons to that moment when someone mocks you and you can’t think of a comeback. You also might say “D’oh.”
If you have been reading this list in order, or you have managed to be at least a tad social over the last two decades, then you will totally understand this sentence: “OMG, I don’t know WTF to do and I don’t have time for LOLZ.” In social media, and, sadly, in everyday conversations at the Golden Arches, you will come across OMG moments. OMG, you don’t know that OMG stands for “Oh My God?” WTF!
Well hello to you, subculture called “hipster.” How have you been? Are you busy thinking how superior you are to me or wishing that you were more mysterious than I am? In both instances, I respond with one word: “fail.” You may rock those Urkel glasses, but the sad truth is that your parents still pay your rent.
The hashtag is out of control! Excessive usage has officially arrived for the “#” sign that just used to be a button on your rotary telephone. Ah, the good old days. Sure, originally we used it to bring attention to keywords on Twitter or cool phrases. But now it’s part of #Facebook and #Instagram too. And people are making the hashtag gesture with their hands in real life conversations too. The horror!
Some of these cultural references are amazing, aren’t they? I mean, the word fail can size up an entire situation with just four letters. There’s nothing quite like condensing the English language and making up words. LOL. Now about that spirit animal thing, we are ready to rant some more. Don’t mind us.