Monday, August 13, 2007

Internet Meme of the Week: Meh

This week's phrase, "meh" combines two very common Internet traits: a smug, air of superiority and a sense of indifference to everything. The word has several meanings, but the one context I hear the most is that of "a vocabularised sigh, commonly used in the online gaming community to represent indifference, or lack of enthusiasm at a certain proposal." Kind of like the response, "Eh," but with a more pronounced emphasis on your indifference. The beauty of this particular meme is that it can sum up, in 3 letters, your entire opinion of a particular issue, claim or situation; pure apathy.

Let's face it, people on the Internet are lazy. They concatenate or abbreviate everything. Emoticons can convey, in an instant, what might take a paragraph to describe. Leet -speak, or whatever you wish to call it, saves us time when we're chatting online or posting on message boards. If we could have a second keyboard (like this for example) filled with commonly used Internet phrases, we would (sounds like a perfect use for the customizable LED Optimus keyboard, actually).

The specific origins of the word are unclear, but sources seem to credit The Simpsons as an early adopter of the slang term. The following scene comes from the Season 6 episode, "Lisa's Wedding," in 1995.
    Bart: [whining] Oh, these renaissance fairs are so boring.
Marge: Oh, really? Did you see the loom? [camera turns to it]
I took loom in high school.
[Marge hums, quickly weaves "Hi Bart, I am weaving on a loom"]
Bart: [pause] Meh.
The Simpsons writers have since used the phrase many times throughout the show's existence. It seems only natural that the term would eventually slide into popular usage on Internet forums and the like. Many other terms used by the show have, to a lesser degree, also gained notoriety in various online communities. Some of these include: "Jebus", "Yoink", and "My eyes! The goggles do nothing!"

Here are some examples you can use in your everyday activities.. Feel free to drop them in, under the proper conversational context, to pick up women, attempt to leverage that raise with your boss, or just plain flame that asshole back into his place on that Harry Potter message board you're trolling.

  • What'd you think of that movie last night?
    "Meh.. it was better than Catwoman, I guess."
  • How do you think is hotter? Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan?
    "Meh.. it doesn't really matter to me that much."

  • You guys wanna hang out tonight?
    Meh.. I guess so, although I could be playing WoW.

  • Isn't this just the most perfect place for our wedding?

EDIT: Interestingly enough, there was an article about this in the Guardian early this year.. Meh, you can read it if you want.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want that T-Shirt!