The Second Life® Dictionary of Virtual Experience: Chat

chat dic

It’s been a while since the last installment in my dictionary of new words and terms for all those experiences we’ve had in the virtual world but just don’t have the nomenclature for referring to them.  Fret not: the project continues.  Read on for all those words that have been missing from your life about Chat.

Chethargy  Knowing that a heated disagreement going on in public chat is down to a simple misunderstanding, but just not caring enough to point it out.

Commenticide  The act of deleting an ingenious comeback to something said because, by the time you’ve finished typing it out, the conversation has moved on and the moment is gone.  A silent tragedy, yes, but a far better outcome for all than pressing the enter key anyway.

Conversynction  Any typed conversation where one person is consistently replying to the last-but-one comment.  For example, A: Lovely day!  A: Is it your birthday today?  B: It sure is!  A: Oh!  Are you having a party?  B: No!  Not until July!  A: But that’s three months away!  B: I’m not really a party person.  A: Then why have one at all?  B: What do you mean by that?  A: No need to be so touchy!  [And so on, until a full-blown argument commences, followed by an unfriending].

Explhellosion  The explosion of greetings which occurs when someone arrives at an event and insists on replying individually to every single person that says hello to them instead of offering a generic, “Hello everybody.” Usually starts with three to four hellos to the newcomer followed by a full set of replies. If it ended there then no-one would mind, but the specificity of the replies then causes others in the room to feel ungreeted, particularly if they include close friends of the newcomer. Thus, round two commences.  Round three includes greetings offered by first-time visitors who decide they must have encountered some sort of SL superstar and want themselves a piece of that action.

Fake crash  Pretending you’ve crashed in order to get out of an unending conversation.  Like you really need this one explaining.

Farewellwindow  The amount of time it’s polite to leave between issuing a farewell and actually leaving an event, the function of this pause being to give people time to respond to you.  General opinion is that this should be somewhere between fifteen and thirty seconds.  Anything less than this risks a number of misinterpretations: (a) you just stormed out over something; (b) you just spotted an ex in the region who you really didn’t want to see you; (c) your real life husband/wife/mother just entered the room.  Anything longer, on the other hand – hanging around long after you said goodbye and nobody answered – just looks tragic.

Fatal crosspost  The act of entering something detrimental about person A into person A’s IM window, thinking you had entered it into Person B’s IM window.  The realisation that a fatal crosspost has just occurred is usually accompanied by a strong desire to die immediately.  See more here.

Goodbyetime  The minimum period of nothing-being-said time following which you decide it must now be ok to close the conversation.  Tends to be inversely proportional to your desire to do so.

Hellowait  The minimum waiting period before replying to anyone’s IMed hello in order to give them the impression you are busy.

Logjumper  Someone who IMs you the instant you log on.  Their ding-ding greets you even before the login screen has cleared.

Lolliot  Anyone who thinks it’s cool to write ‘lol’ with a backslash and forward slash either side of the ‘o’ because it looks like a little person with their hands in the air.

Textgunner  Someone who seizes control of public chat by machine gunning it with an unfeasibly long sentence broken into a series of one to five word statements.  Like a Weapon of Mass Gestruction (see below), this can effectively wipe the screen clear of any other conversation thread.  For example: So there I was | or rather, there we were | and this is no joke | I swear to you | this is exactly what happened | we were just sitting there | just chatting |and along he comes | out of nowhere | God | *literally* out of nowhere | we were like WTF? And so on.  It is too the textgunner’s additional advantage that there are usually less people around in public chat by the time they get to the end of their statement than there were at the start of it.

Withheld smiley  The absence of a smiley to the end of your greeting, either where it would ordinarily be your practice to include one or as a response to a greeting from someone else that carries one.  The withheld smiley can communicate anything from, “I’m feeling a little low and I’d like you to ask me about it” to, “I am shortly going to rip your fucking head off.”  See more here.

Weapon of Mass Gestruction  Any gesture which completely fills the screen with text, thereby obliterating all remnants of the conversation taking place before it.  The Geneva convention should not apply when it comes to what we do to people who use WMGs.




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