A ban on internet slang? That’s derp

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A ban on internet slang? That’s derp

Writers at Gawker have been warned by the website’s new editor that ‘amazeballs’, ‘lulz’ and ‘WTF’ are off the menu. Massive fail, says Steven Poole
LOL face
Adult human beings have been known to write, and even say, ‘LOL’. Photograph: Getty Images

Breaking: new chief of slangy internet site doesn’t want it to sound quite so much like a slangy internet site. Incoming Gawker editor Max Read has issued a stern memo to his writers warning them against using such webspeak as “derp”, “lulz”, ftw (“for the win”), and “amazeballs”. Why? Because, as Read puts it: “We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not BuzzFeed writers or Reddit commenters.”

It is worth unpacking this delicious sentence at our leisure. First, we encounter the idea that anyone using “internet slang” is not a “regular adult human being”. Such an unfortunate must be either an irregular adult human being – perhaps one with…

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