Decoding Twitter Speak
A quick meme and lingo refresher
I’ve been left hanging one too many times. Alright, maybe it isn’t over anything serious, but hear me out: it gets tiring referencing memes when nobody reacts. Or worse, when no one understands what the heck you’re talking about. I’ve learned my lesson time and time again: nobody at work is going to laugh when I say “the surgery was successful” about two photos we successfully stitch together and I might as well expect a pregnant silence when I raise my hand a la bespectacled anime man.
The funny thing is I don’t even consider myself particularly fluent when it comes to memes and internet lingo. Like every other language besides my first, I merely pick up bits and pieces and learn to wield them out of constant exposure, in this case, to Twitter. And I’m not just talking about regular Twitter. I’m talking about the goldmine of freshly hatched memes, resurrected Vines and tailor-made reaction photos: the fandom Twitterverse.
Here, I unload some of Twitter’s most commonly used terms and memes from now and the recent past. Is it necessary knowledge? If we’re going by the book, not really. But come on, it might be a little fun to get with the times.
The LeBron face
Ah, the LeBron. This is a rather timely one in light of the conclusion of the 2018 NBA Finals. This meme comes from Game 1, when LeBron James expressed a rather colorful mix of emotions at teammate J.R. Smith’s mistake. Deemed meme-worthy by the internet, LeBron’s face is now used at any utterly frustrating situation—basketball-related or otherwise.
Is this a…?
This one’s all over the place. While the original meme features a cartoon man gesturing towards what is quite obviously a butterfly and asking if it’s a pigeon, there are a variety of iterations of this photo that make it appropriate for almost any situation. See below:
I’m gay, straight, bi…
Source hasharakl on Twitter
If there’s any place on earth that has something for everyone, it’s probably Twitter. This meme (or more accurately, snowclone) might be definitive proof of that. Resembling a survey strung together with words and emojis, the last point on the list is replaced with relatable song lyrics.
I don’t feel so good
If you haven’t watched the latest Avengers movie yet (although you definitely should!), stop scrolling.
Seriously. I’m giving you the opportunity to turn back before I throw a big teaser your way.
Last chance! Thanos will no longer demand my silence after this sentence.
Like I said, this photo is a definite spoiler. Referencing Tom Holland’s heart-wrenching line at towards the end of the movie, this meme makes good use of Photoshop’s dispersion technique. It started with Peter Parker, then a dramatic Spongebob version rose to the surface. Now, you’ll find all kinds.
Look at the time
Source diplo on Twitter
Easy to reference in conversation but rather troublesome to tweet, this strategically spaced out body of text requires you to get a little creative (or do a little copy-paste action). The result? A wonky clock and an often sarcastic statement at exactly 3 o’ clock.
Now go forth and get memeing!
Art Alexandra Lara