The lingo we use to communicate with each other changes so drastically from decade to decade. So much so that there are tons of today's phrases that would make no sense in 1996. Because in the last 10 years, with all of the technological innovations in communication, there's so much more to know about and to reference. So many of our new nouns have become verbs. For example, "I'll Facebook you," or "Microwave it." Our own grandparents have no idea what we're talking about half the time, and they've lived through the changes. At this rate, by 2026, the dictionary will be a lot thicker and the reference handbook for adults who are not glued to their phones and apps 24/7 will be epic.
A Reddit user, who is probably doing some background research for a 1996 time travel story, asked the community what phrases would make no sense to someone living in 1996, and participation went through the roof. It's a fun prompt because its about more than language — it's about history, technology, and culture. Some of the things we say today might not even be socially comprehensible 10 years ago — which is good, because it shows that we're progressive and committed to change. Here are some of the most interesting phrases that we use today that would make no sense 10 years ago:
Don't Forget To Tag Me
Tagging has only very recently become a thing. We're all so obsessed with being searchable and being linked to good pictures of ourselves. Tagging is a part of the new social marketing we indulge in — the product being ourselves. If we're not tagged, people might not know how to follow or contact us. We're on the internet to see and be seen now.
The New Friday Night
A huge marker of our current culture. We're all so overworked and tired, our ideal night includes curling up on the couch with someone and watching TV until Monday. Plus, there's so much good TV now, it's the new date night.
Nouns As Verbs
Every few years we use a brand name so often we become desensitized to the fact that it's a brand. Sort of how we say, "Can I have a Band-Aid for my cut?" instead of bandage. We say Google so much we understand it as a device over a brand and we use it so much we see it as a verb over a noun.
Don't Waste Your Data
We all know our devices work better when connected to the WiFi — not to mention, it saves data when you're running your service through the internet. So everywhere we go, we ask what the password is for the WiFi.
It's a term that sounds negative but is meant positively. "Blowing up" means to receive lots of messages or notifications. It's usually indicative of something going viral or something having a controversial response.
The Cloud is still a mystery for many people who use it. It's an invisible safe for information that seems to exist only when we need to access it. It's our new age floppy disk from the future.
Uber To The Rescue
Uber is maybe one of the most influential additions to our modern lives. No longer do we ever have to worry about how to get from one place to the next. Even if we've lost our wallets, Uber is there for us. It will take us from point A to point B, no questions asked.
What started out as an video of a woman showing off her eyebrows which she called "on fleek" turned into a viral sensation and dictionary-worthy word that's used incessantly to describe something that looks good.
About That Selfie Life
Once upon a time, before the world of reverse-view, we had to turn a camera around and blindly hit the shutter to get a photo of ourselves. Now that we can easily take pictures of ourselves, our camera rolls are more full of pictures of ourselves than pictures of others, if we're being honest.
E-cigarettes are everywhere now. Smoking has been prohibited from indoor spaces for years now, but because e-cigarettes don't produce smoke, they're permitted inside. People who didn't even smoke real cigarettes smoke e-cigarettes for the joy of smoking inside like an old movie.
We're obsessed with trendy web content. We're also obsessed with going to the internet to react to things happening in the real world. When someone influential does something, we all react. If this person has a massive fanbase, they will literally break the internet. What that means for a 2016er is that search engines and apps will crash from user overload. It sounds like an apocalyptical occurrence, but it's not so scary — we know the web is resilient.
Images: Reddit; Columbia Pictures