Ben Zimmer: YOLO

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Boston Globe and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and, talks about the YOLO phenomenon and other new examples of youth slang. He wrote about it in his Boston Globe column.


Ben Zimmer

Comments [7]

Yo Yo from WHAM-O Factory Floor

YOLO "phenomenon"?! Yeah, it should last about another 17 seconds before it's the slang from EVERY OTHER ERA!

Sep. 05 2012 02:24 PM
Amy from Manhattan

LOLcats go back long before their name. Ethicon, a company that made suture material, published an "Ethicon Cat-A-Log" in the late 1950s w/captioned pictures of cats (related to medicine & surgery). The cover (which you can see at shows an open-mouthed kitten w/the caption "...but I *am* sterile, doctor!"

Sep. 05 2012 01:30 PM
John A.

I can't possibly explain the total number of memes that are out there. A truly DISconnected (connected to Internet, disconnected from real-life) youth probably keeps something north of 500 memes in his/her head. New Classes of them come in to being seemingly weekly, and each class spawns a hundred re-interpretations. There are websites that track them like NPR does news.

Sep. 05 2012 01:23 PM

I do enjoy the Willy Wonks memes.

Sep. 05 2012 01:18 PM
John A.

Has the word meme been used yet? Increasingly, peoples identities, and conversations are on-line. This means images-only references are taking over.

Sep. 05 2012 01:15 PM
mck from NYC

YOLO? This sounds like the topic of an article by a junior professor at a 3rd rate college who is desperately padding his publications list in a (futile) quest for tenure.

Sep. 05 2012 01:14 PM
Tom from Toronto

encapsulates nicely the stupidity of today's generation.

Sep. 05 2012 01:09 PM

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