“That is so hashtag fail!” When Twitter lingo goes offline
Don’t like someone’s outfit? Slipped on ice? Lost a job? Think your boss is lame?
These are all situations where “That is so hashtag fail!”
These days Twitter lingo is not just for online use, as expressions migrate from the social media world into everyday vernacular. In the case of hashtag fail, its sprung from the online use of the expression #FAIL and now even has it’s own hashtag of #hashtagfail.
This language phenomenon has been pointed out to me by my colleague Hugo Mintz, Press Officer for Name PR, who has been exclaiming “hashtag fail!” in the office for the last few weeks. Usually it is when something goes wrong, or when he finds something to be truly vile. Hugo is in his 20s, so I would guess that this is a fairly new expression being used by young adults.
Maybe it is because social media has become an extended tool of how we communicate with each other, as common as the telephone, or maybe, like any street slang, it gets picked up by an influential few and spreads quickly until it reaches a tipping point.
Hashtag fail jumped beyond just young people last year when Canadian politician, the late Jack Layton, used the expression during elections, proclaiming in a debate “That’s been a hashtag fail!” His comment made news headlines and you can watch the clip on YouTube.
It seems hashtag fail is similar to using the term “epic fail” that we’ve heard more commonly in recent years, although I’m not sure which term is stronger. The term FAIL has become so popular that it even has its own, very popular, Fail Blog.
Hardly the only example, the use of online expressions in language can also be spotted:
-Visiting my homeland America, I hear people saying O! M! G! when they are shocked at something, adopting the popular online OMG phrase for Oh My God in everyday language.
-For years now, I, and many people, say LOL when they think something is funny, the online term for Laughing Out Loud.
-I can remember when email spawned the requests to “just CC me on that” or “just BCC me” in the office.
It looks like our realization here on The Wall Blog UK that hashtag fail is the new “that sucks” is clued up early to the trend, as the expression does not yet appear on Urban Dictionary, the home of all things slang. I’d say this means that The Wall Blog UK is not a hashtag fail.