Monday, October 27, 2008


Most language-related internet fads I'm not crazy about. I can't stand smileys and their relations; some of the abbreviations (e.g., WTF) are efficient and useful, even if they don't inspire enthusiasm; catchphrases (All Your Base) quickly wear out their welcome. But there's one recent innovation (at least, I think it's recent—see below) that I absolutely love. For, oh, the past year or so I've been noticing, and when appropriate using, a delightful... what to call it? It's not an exclamation, because it's determinedly low-key; it's not really an interjection, because it's not interjected, it's a standalone response. And I wasn't sure how to find an example, because it's impossible to search for (see below). But I trusted to serendipity, which rarely fails me, and sure enough fate provided one.
languagehat on what.

WHAT is always a worthwhile addition to any conversation, demonstrating one's superior intellect and mastery of the English language. ... It was created by the internets. Whenever you find yourself in a situation on the internets where your opinion really matters, WHAT is for you!
Encyclopedia Dramatica on what.

(I changed languagehat's link. Mainly I'm using the ED for all my reference needs anymore.)

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