5 Chrome Extensions To Make Your Online Reading Either Enlightening Or Extremely Confusing
Google Chrome extensions can serve highly practical purposes, like helping people manage their time and blocking ads. My favorite ones, however, serve no practical purpose whatsoever. What are they? They're extensions that replace words with other words — and you'd be surprised how many variations there are on that formula, and how enlightening (not to mention confusing, if you forget what you've downloaded) it can be to use them.
Why should we go around replacing the words we read on the Internet, you ask? First of all, hilarity ensues, but more importantly, we notice how certain terms are thrown around in our culture when something new calls attention to them. To bring in literary theory, these extensions provide defamiliarization, which Wikipedia defines as "the artistic technique of presenting to audiences common things in an unfamiliar or strange way in order to enhance perception of the familiar." In other words, the extensions listed below can make you laugh, but they can also make you think about the language they're manipulating.
Here are a few Chrome extensions you can try to make your online reading thought-provoking and extremely puzzling. Warning: Don't download any of these before reading on, or you'll be reading about the "Snake People to Snake People" extension, the "Jeb Bush" extension, and the "Butt to Butt" extension.
The Millennials to Snake People Chrome extension does exactly what it sounds like — because reading about how "snake people" are entitled, technology-addicted, and sex-crazed is far more fun than reading these claims about "Millennials." For consistency's sake, the extension also changes “Millennial Generation” to “Snake Person Generation” and “Generation Y” to “Serpent Society.”
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If you suffer from ophidiophobia, you have another alternative to reading about Millennials. The Millennials Begone! extension instead converts "Millennials" to "pesky whipper-snappers." Because the way some people write about Millennials, you can tell that's exactly what they're thinking.
3. Florida Man
The Florida Man extension turns all instances of "Jeb Bush" or "Marco Rubio" into "Florida Man," but the funnier part is that it also works in reverse (that is, naturally-occurring instances of "Florida Man" will transform either into "Jeb Bush" or "Marco Rubio"). Apparently, so many Florida men are getting into crazy predicaments that there's a Twitter account dedicated to tweeting headlines containing "Florida Man" — or, if you have the extension, "Jeb Bush" and "Marco Rubio."
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Anyone sick of hearing about cloud security, cloud computing, cloud businesses, and other clouds in some indeterminate location other than the sky can now read about something far funnier — the funniest thing, actually: butts! Who doesn't find butts funny? And given the vague definition of this mysterious thing called the cloud (Gizmodo defines it first and foremost as "a buzzword"), we'd might as well be reading "butt" anyway. An added bonus is that, in addition to seeing butts butting into the tech world (see what I did there?), you can ready about the butty weather and people gazing up at butts to speculate on what their shapes resemble.
This one actually serves a purpose (if reading about butts and snake people isn't a valid enough purpose). By showing what the articles you read would look like if the genders were reversed, the Jailbreak the Patriarchy extension exposes sexist media coverage and shows how things we didn't even realize were gendered actually are. For example, Jezebel pulled an excerpt from Steve Harvey's Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man (or, should I say, Act Like A Gentleman, Think Like A Woman):
For a woman, few words are as menacing as those four — especially when a man is the one saying them and she's on the receiving end. Those four words can mean only two things to women: either we did something wrong or, worse, you really literally just want to talk.
Huh. I previously thought that fear of your partner being mad at you was gender-neutral, but this made me notice the stereotype that men are the ones who get "in trouble" because women are supposedly nagging and high-maintenance and want to talk about (yuck!) feelings. Thanks, Steve Harvey.Jailbreak the Patriarchy also has the unintended consequence of turning "the" into "tshe."
These extensions are just a few of the ingenious ways pesky whipper-snappers have taken advantage of tshe butt, whether they're discussing Florida Man and her political campaign or just face-palming over what the latest Marco Rubio has gotten himself into.
Images: Suzannah Weiss/Bustle(5); Cloud To Butt Plus