Twitter calls its unmediated stream of all the millions of tweets “the firehose”, and my new page at the stupidly named but engaging and useful RebelMouse fits that description with its dynamic, auto-updating page of interesting stuff culled from posts at my two blogs and on the aforementioned Twitter. It’s still in beta and I don’t even do Instagram or the other networks it can link to but there’s already a veritable torrent of links, images and revivals of old posts there. Stand still and cover your vitals or you might do yourself an injury.
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I particularly love the German and Japanese languages, although obviously they’re not much alike. The Germans string together long fusillades of smaller words to target concepts that most people recognise but don’t necessarily have a name for in their own language. One of my favourites– both as a word and actually experiencing it because evidently I’m kind of a prick sometimes– is schadenfreude, the pleasure one feels at somebody else’s misfortune. Another great one is Backpfeifengesicht, a face in need of a punch or slap. It literally means something like “cheek-pipe-face” but I have no idea what that derives from or alludes to.
What I’d really like to draw your attention to, though, is the Japanese word bakataa (バカッター). It’s a pun on the word baka (バカ / 馬鹿, stupid or idiot) and Twitter. A bakataa is a person who writes something grossly stupid / illegal / offensive / provocative on Twitter, or does something stupid / illegal / offensive / provocative in real life then documents it on Twitter… and is somehow surprised to find that it backfires on them and causes real world repercussions. I suppose you could translate it literally (and clumsily) as “stupid-ter”, or more idiomatically as something like “twatter” to preserve the pun. But as in the case of schadenfreude, translation is mostly beside the point. Hardly a week seems to go by without at least one bakataa poking their baka head above the parapet to be shot off somewhere in the online world, so let’s just say arigato gozaimasu to whichever Japanese genius came up with a word for these people.
PS: Although it’s not German or Japanese I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the wonderful (and also social network-relevant) imagery of the Dutch mierenneuker, a petty “ant-fucker” who creates a huge fuss about trivial matters or rules.