My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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the Internet Lexicon

Over at the Berkman Center, a bunch of Fellows put together The Internet Lexicon (spearheaded by none other than The Great David Weinberger). The Internet Lexicon is “a wiki-based list of Webby people whose names are treated as if they were definable words.” To make me giggle uncomfortably, someone (presumably David) defined me:

boyd, danah (v) to provide an environment for floating new ideas. E.g., “Sociologists were boyd by the research showing the class differences between Facebook and MySpace.”

Some other entertaining ones:

shirky, clay (n) A tool for opening the most securely locked objects. E.g., “We’ll never get past this door…unless someone has brought a shirky.”

wu, tim (v) to attempt to persuade while staying strictly neutral.

zuckerman, ethan (n) One who pays equal attention to all species, no matter how exotic or unfamiliar. E.g., “Who takes care of the zoo? Why, the zuckerman, of course!”

zittrain, jonathan (n) a passenger locomotive conveying one in a direction over which one may be powerless. E.g., “I wish I could stand and pull the emergency brake cord to prevent this vehicle from plunging over a cliff, but it is, alas, a zittrain.”

And of course, one cannot forget David:

weinberger, david (n) a delicious sandwich that makes sense of countless miscellaneous ingredients in an entertaining fashion. E.g., “The acclaimed chef threw up his hands and let his customers combine his mis-en-place, venison and precious truffles into fantastic weinbergers.”

::giggle:: Happy One Web Day!! Cheers to the Internet and its role in shaping society! ::clink::

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3 comments to the Internet Lexicon

  • metavital

    Wow, this is hilarious. Using those well-known names as verbs for certain usages is quite entertaining. I really enjoy the part where a “weinberger” is defined as a sandwich! 😀

  • Dagonet

    Reminds me of Adams’ ‘Meaning of Liff’. But fun nonetheless.

  • batelle, john: searching for something valuable, asking tough questions with great prize? “The last round of this quizz show had very difficult batelles.”
    [You would all have noticed the pun on ‘bagatelles’, unimportant non-sequiturs.]

    jardin, xeni: a world with extraordinary properties, colors, flowers and trees of unexpected proportions. “That steam-punk exhibition was hosted in this amazing park, a real jardin.”

    I don’t know the other undefined A-listers well enough – but I wonder: is One Web Day about celebrating our new aristocracy?