If you have any doubt that the hashtag is a frighteningly powerful tool in our modern vocabulary, imagine a person you care about texting you that song’s title line out of the blue: “You’re beautiful.” Now think of the same person texting, “You’re #beautiful.” The second one is jokey, ironic, distant—and hey, maybe that’s what that person was going for. But it also hammers home that point that the internet too often asserts: You’re not as original as you once thought. “Beautiful” is analog, unquantifiable, one-in-a-million. #Beautiful, on the other hand, is crowded terrain. Ten more people have just tweeted about something or someone #beautiful since you started reading this sentence.
As more and more of our daily interactions become text-based — people preferring texting to phone calls, workplaces that rely heavily email and instant messaging—we’re developing ways to stretch our written language so it can communicate more nuance, so we can tell people what we mean without accidentally leading them on or pissing them off. Periods have becomemore forceful, commas less essential, and over the last few years, the hashtag has morphed into something resembling the fabled sarcasm font—the official keystroke of irony. Putting a hashtag in front of something you text, email, or IM to someone is a sly way of saying “I’m joking,” or maybe more accurately, “I mean this and I don’t at the same time.”
Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities.
I generally find that HuffPo is not a super-reliable source of information considering that they allow anyone to write anything on their site.
The procedure you’re referring to is not a “shot.” It’s an outpatient medical producedure in which a polymer is inserted directly into the vas deferens. It’s basically a vasectomy delivered through a simpler means, which is great, but it isn’t, like, a shot in the arm. It’s an outpatient medical procedure. It also isn’t approved by the FDA and is still research trials.
That’s not to say that it isn’t an interesting possibility and that it sounds way better than a normal vasectomy. But, yeah, the HuffPo article made it sound like a completely different thing…intentionally.
They’re in it for the clicks, not to inform people of actual true things.
"They’re in it for the clicks, not to inform people of actual true things."
- Hank Green hitting the nail on the head with his description of Huffington Post.
I love new media, and I love the new and exciting ways that stories are being told. But I think HuffPo are on the wrong end of new media, where everything is exaggerated to get our attention. It’s insulting, as if the only reason we will click is if they invent some conflict that isn’t there.
Their headlines are too often intentionally misleading and so I’m making a habit of avoiding their links.
HuffPo links are the equivalent of a Daily Telegraph front page and that’s not a positive comparison.
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