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Is English the hardest language in 2024 because of Internet Slangs?

The difficulty of learning English can vary depending on factors such as your native language, exposure to the language, and personal learning style.


If you’ve grown up speaking English at native level, you may never realize the struggle that learning English can be for someone who’s never spoken it before. Starting to learn a language from scratch for an adult person is pretty much like going back to childhood.



Why is English the hardest language to keep up with for non-native speakers in the current times?


Social media has revolutionized how we communicate, introducing a lot of abbreviations, acronyms, and internet slangs that characterize online discourse. These informal expressions, often used for humour and immediacy, can puzzle even fluent speakers.


Internet is not just about LOL and OMG now. In the early 2010s, memes could be seen as harmless, childish jokes but now memes have evolved into agents of change. In fact, the user base of memes is no longer limited to just the Gen-Z


Social Media

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash


Imagine you are a non-native English speaker and your friend goes “My boyfriend is ghosting me”. You will be absolutely confused. You can’t decode the meaning even if you break it down literally.


Let us take another example where your colleague says “I don't have the bandwidth to take on additional projects right now”. There you are, again, wondering what on earth does that even mean?


If you have faced similar situations, this article is exactly what you need!


Let us explore some common social media slangs and corporate lingo to make your English language learning journey easier!


Slangs and Lingos


internet slangs

1. Ghosting

If someone stops responding to texts, calls, or messages without offering any explanation, they are said to have "ghosted" the other person.


In job recruitment or business interactions, "ghosting" refers to a situation where a candidate or business contact suddenly stops responding to communication or fails to follow through on commitments, such as not showing up for interviews or meetings without prior notice.


On social media or digital platforms, "ghosting" can happen when someone unfriends, unfollows, or blocks another person without any explanation or prior indication.


2. Bandwidth

In corporate discussions, "bandwidth" typically refers to a person's or organization's capacity to handle tasks, projects, or information. It implies the amount of mental, emotional, or physical resources available to dedicate to various activities.

 

It also relates to the availability of time and attention that someone can devote to specific matters. It acknowledges that individuals or teams have limits on how much they can effectively manage at any given time.

 

3. Cap

In online conversations and social media, "capping" or "cappin'" is slang that typically means lying, exaggerating, or boasting, especially in a way that is seen as insincere or deceptive. It can imply someone is not being truthful about their actions, possessions, or abilities.


Example: "He's always capping about how much money he makes, but I don't believe half of what he says."


In another context, "capping" can refer to imposing a limit or restriction on something, often in terms of quantity or extent. This usage is common in various industries and contexts where there is a need to control or manage certain aspects.


Example: "The company is capping the number of attendees at the event due to space limitations."


4.  Bot

 

A bot is an account that spams unwanted content or a person who shares unwanted content or is very robotic and acts pre-programmed.

 

5. Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling means spending endless time scrolling through your social media feeds, usually through Instagram reels, YouTube shorts, TikTok, Pinterest, Reddit, Discord etc.


It can also mean getting stuck scrolling through content for a unimaginable amount of time.


6. Lurker

A lurker means someone who is very pro-active on social media or specific channels but never comments or participates in the conversation.

Example: Cassie always lurks in the group chat.


7. Tea

On the internet ,Tea means gossip. When people share it, it’s called “Spilling the tea,” or people may say, “What’s the tea?”


8. Vibe

Vibe has various meanings. It can mean relaxing, or how a situation might feel or a person’s intuition.

Someone might say, “What’s the vibe?” or “This gives me a good vibe,” or “I’m vibing right now.”


9.Salty

Salty means someone who is bothered and jealous.

Example: Patrick is acting salty ever since I got accepted to Stanford.


10. Photobomb

Photobomb means entering someone's picture or video uninvited, usually on purpose.

Example: " Your baby is photobombing in your selfie! It's so cute!"


11.Caught in 4k

Caught in 4K means to catch someone red-handed.4k is the highest possible resolution of video clarity. It means 4000 pixels.

Example: Ross caught Monica and Chandler in 4k.


12. Noob

N00b is slang for newbie, and it’s someone who is a beginner or new to something. People call themselves a n00b, and saying it to someone else means they’re bad at something.

Example: I am a noob at Minecraft.


13. Stan

Stanning means to fiercely or aggressively supporting someone or something.

Example: I stan One Direction.

It is believed that Eminem was the first person to use this term.


14. Throwing shade

Throwing shade or shading is the act of publicly disrespecting someone. Often used in reference to sarcastic remarks against someone or something.

Example: Emily was shading Rachel so bad.


15.  Sick

Sick can mean something is crazy or awesome.

It can also mean when you are annoyed by someone or something.

Example: Kendrick Lamar's new song is sick!

I am so sick of studying.


16. Flex

Flex means to show-off. It can mean aggressively showing off your achievements, luxury, life etc.

Example: Aaron always flexes his Rolex watch.


17. Circle back

"Circle back" is a phrase commonly used in business and professional environments. It refers to the action of returning to a topic, discussion, or issue that was previously mentioned or addressed, often for further consideration, follow-up, or resolution.

Example: "Let us focus on the project deployment now, we can circle back to the branch visit later"


18. Drip

In the context of fashion and style, "drip" refers to someone's sense of style and fashion, especially when they are dressed in a stylish, trendy, or eye-catching manner.


Example: "She's got that drip with her new outfit."

"BTS are dripping in Louis Vuitton"


19.  Pain Point

Corporate professionals use pain points to describe a problem or challenge faced by a business which has a significant impact on them.

Example: "I wanted to solve my own pain points and problems that I had to deal with, and my team had to deal with customers."


20.  Touchbase

 

Touching base with someone means you will communicate, talk or discuss something with them.

Example: Claire had to touch base with the investors before agreeing to the new plan.

 

21.  Throw under the bus

Throwing someone under the bus means to put the blame on them for something gone wrong, especially when they are not expecting it.

Example: "During the meeting, he unexpectedly threw his assistant under the bus by publicly criticizing his performance."



22.  Move the goal posts

Move the goal posts means changing the rules to gain an advantage for yourself and make it more difficult for others.

Example: "Every time we came close to meeting the original deadline, they moved the goal posts, demanding more changes and adjustments."


23.  Ping

Ping refers to the sound heard when a message or text is received on a computer or phone. It can also mean to reach out.

Example: " Dylan pinged me today to reschedule the meeting"

 

24.  Down

Down means “yes,” or a response meaning that you’re up for or interested in something.

For example, “Who wants to go to the movies?” “I'm down for it.”


25.  Highkey

Highkey describes something glaringly obvious and true that doesn’t need to be hidden. It’s the opposite of lowkey.


For example, “That was highkey the best concert I’ve been to"


26.  Lowkey

Lowkey has various meanings.


When someone is slightly bothered by something, but it isn’t a big deal:

 “I’m lowkey sad I missed the concert, but there’s always next time.”


When something should be kept secret, discreet, and not shared outside of the conversation: 

“Lowkey, I might present the product.”


To describe a mellow or low-stakes situation: 

“It was a lowkey party with my closest friends.”

 

27.  Mid

 

Mid means average or below average. It’s usually a dig at someone or something, like,

“That movie was mid.”

 

28.  OP

 

OP stands for original poster, and it’s the person who started a conversation on social media or was the first to share something.

 

29.  L

L means loss or loser, and it’s usually said when someone has failed at something or a situation hasn’t gone their way, like “I took an L last night.”

 

30.  W

W stands for win, and it’s used when someone has won something, or something good has happened, like “How was your game last night?” “It was great we got the W!” It is the opposite of L.


31.  GOAT

Goat means greatest of all time. People also say goated to mean the same thing.

For example, “Virat Kohli is the goat,” or “Kohli is goated.”


Popular acronyms on Internet

Internet acronyms

32.  DM - Direct Message

33.  TBH - To Be Honest

34.  BRB - Be Right Back

35.  ICYMI - In Case You Missed It

36.  FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out

37.  TBT - Throwback Thursday

38.  OOTD - Outfit Of The Day

39.  SMH - Shaking My Head

40.  IMO/IMHO - In My Opinion / In My Humble Opinion

41.  ROFL - Rolling On the Floor Laughing

42.  LOL - Laughing Out Loud

43.  BTW - By The Way

44.  IDK - I Don't Know

45.  IDC - I Don't Care

46.  AMA - Ask Me Anything

47.  TMI - Too Much Information

48.  FWIW - For What It's Worth

49.  ICYMI - In Case You Missed It

50.  HT - Heard Through (often used in retweets)

51.  FBF - Flashback Friday

52.  NVM - Never Mind

53.  SMH - Shaking My Head

54.  NBD - No Big Deal

55.  NSFW - Not Safe For Work

56.  TL;DR - Too Long; Didn't Read

57.  AFK - Away From Keyboard

58.  BFF - Best Friends Forever

59.  BTS - Behind The Scenes

60.  IRL - In Real Life

61.  LMK - Let Me Know

62.  MRW - My Reaction When

63.  NBD - No Big Deal

64.  OTP - One True Pairing

65.  SFW - Safe For Work

66.  SMH - Shaking My Head

67.  TB - Throwback

68.  TGIF - Thank God It's Friday

69.  WIP - Work In Progress

70.  YOLO - You Only Live Once

71.  ICYMI - In Case You Missed It

72.  IMY - I Miss You

73.  JK - Just Kidding

74.  IYKYK- If you know you know, meaning an inside joke

75.  IKR- I know right

76. EOD- End of the day


Slang plays a fascinating role in shaping languages worldwide, often serving as a dynamic bridge between formal communication and cultural expression.

 

It evolves rapidly, reflecting societal changes, generational shifts, and the influence of popular culture. From urban centres to digital platforms, slang enriches languages by introducing new words, altering meanings, and fostering a sense of belonging among speakers.

 

Despite criticisms of its informality, slang remains a powerful force in language evolution, continuously reshaping how we communicate and connect with one another.

 

Learning any language is not just learning it’s grammar, scripts or accent. It is also about exploring their cultures, current trends and values.


LearnningTree has been very successful in teaching languages through a very holistic approach. At LearnningTree, we embrace your vision and aspirations, empowering you to explore new horizons through our strategic language learning guidance. With diverse language learning courses, interactive learning and cultural insights, it enriches your linguistic development.

 

 

 


 

 

 

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