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Excuse Me While I Check My Googleganger.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Wednesday, 30th January 2008
 
Our writer searches for the nekkid truth in her efforts to keep up with net lingo- Lately I've been thinking about words-

I think it's because I've been spending too much time on Scrabulous on Facebook – this online word game has definitely expanded my vocabulary with words I suspect I will never get to use in real life.

One of these words is "ut" which means "the syllable once generally used for the first tone or keynote of a scale and sometimes for the tone C: now commonly superceded by do".

As in "you've hit the wrong ut" or "but me no uts and I will ut you no buts" …

I've also been spending a lot of time on sites like Urban Dictionary and Net Lingo. This is because I am preparing for life in the new world – as of last year, more than half of us now live in urban areas and the place I call home, Singapore, was placed as the No 1 country for sending text messages.

Yes, 50% of humanity can now officially be termed as "urban rats" and Singaporeans sent a total of 1.2 billion SMSes last year – that's 209 messages a month per mobile phone, based on a mobile penetration rate of 116%.

While the Philippines is ahead at 846 and Malaysia just squeaked past with 210, you could say, just as with lightning strikes, Singapore has the highest capita of SMS texters in the world.

My niece, who is 19, and her friends are responsible for probably half of the total – she gets 1,000 free SMSes a month – and they no longer talk, they just text.

Being in the communication business thus, it is critical that I get up to speed with the new lingo, hence my research.

Urban Dictionary, for instance, has opened up my world like you wouldn't believe.

I have learnt the difference between "naked" and "nekkid". "Naked" just means being nude. "Nekkid" means being nude for naughty purposes. It didn't define what "naughty" was – for that, I'll have to go into naughtywords.com.
There's also "reverse telecommuting" – "bringing personal work to the office: paying bills, playing games and reading online newspapers on company time".

I know of companies who have tried to put a stop to this phenomenon by banning sites such as Facebook. A girlfriend can't even check what movies are playing where and when at work.

There's also "googleganger" – "similar to that of a doppleganger, it is another individual with the same name as you whose records and/or stories are mixed in with your own when you Google yourself".

As in, "I am feeling lonely today so I'll find out who are my googlegangers so we can have a googleganger party".

I am also feeling real good because after time spent on Net Lingo, I can now call friends "ACORN" (A completely obsessive really nutty person) or "BAC" (Bad Ass Chick) or "MUBAR" (Messed Up Beyond All Recognition).

My advice – don't EWI, DWI or DWWWI. All are bound to leave you DARFC.

Tip: Go to www.netlingo.com if you want to know what I am talking about.

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com . Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.
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