When reading blogs, you’re likely to come across a lot of unfamiliar blog lingo. Unless you’re well-initiated in blog ling, terms like “troll” or “afaic” are likely to stop you in your tracks. Blog lingo runs the gamut from intuitive (blogosphere, meaning “the world of blogs,”) to playful (calling a heated interchange a “flame war”) to downright bizarre (why shorten “around” to “arnd”?). But, no matter what it means, blog lingo helps make reading and writing blogs interesting, and adds a little spice to virtual living. If you spend anytime in the blogosphere, you’ll want a crash course in blog lingo so that you can chat with the best of them. Here is an introduction to some of the most common blog lingo.
afaic/afaics/afaict/afaik/afair. . . .
There is a whole branch of blog lingo made up of abbreviations of common phrases. Some of the most robust of this kind of blog lingo is the “afai” family. Afai stands for “As Far As I. . .” and has several common variations. Keep an eye out for afaic (As Far As I’m Concerned), afaics (As Far As I Can See), afaik (As Far As I Know), and the multitude of similar phrases that appear in blog lingo. There are new variations on this theme popping up almost every day, so don’t bother trying to learn them all. Although you may not always be able to guess what an afai stands for exactly, you can usually assume it’s a non-essential modifier for whatever follows. Lots of blog lingo serves this function, including phrases like imho (In My Humble Opinion) that pop up everywhere. As a general rule, if you run into a series of letters that look like something out of Lewis Carrol’s nightmares, it is an abbreviation of one of these types of phrases that only serves to modify the tone, and not the actual information content, of the posting.
One of the most prevalent blog lingo terms is Blogosphere. Quite simple, blogosphere just means “the world of blogs.” So, for example, although associatedcontent.com is part of the internet, and part of cyberspace, it is not part of the blogosphere. Only blogs themselves, or blog-centered sites like the blog search engine technorati.com, are considered parts of the blogosphere.
This particular phrase of blog lingo is a holdover from some of the earliest message boards on the internet. As in any virtual or non-virtual community, public group discussions sometimes got out of hand and devolved into name-calling or pointless, albeit heated, exchanges between a few parties. These were eventually coined flame wars, because the users “fanned each others’ flames.” Just as the practice has continued into the blogosphere, where two bloggers or readers will often engage in a long-running public battle that is more about the fun of fighting than it is about the substance of the debate, so the phrase flame war has continued into blog lingo.
Mod Me Down
This blog lingo term started on the website reddit.com, one of the first places on the internet where casual readers could give posted comments a positive or negative rating. To mod someone down meant to rate their comment negatively. Soon, reddit users began starting their posts with phrases like “I know you’ll mod me down for this” or “Mod me down if you must, but. . .”. Many reddit users are also bloggers, so the phrase has made its way into blog lingo at large, and has generally become synonymous with “hate me if you must.”
In blog lingo, a troll is somebody who deliberately provokes others into a flame war. For example, someone who posts incendiary and rude comments on a whole series of blogs is a troll. If one particular reader on a blog repeatedly posts negative comments meant to incite the blogger, or fellow readers, into a pointless debate, that reader will likely be called a troll by anyone familiar with blog lingo.