Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Massive Changes at Gawker!

Posted by on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

This has been all over the place today, but I first saw it at Poynter: The internal Gawker memo laying out specifics of the site's new style guidelines. The popular highlight of Gawker's "Banned List":

Internet slang. We used to make an effort to avoid this, and now I see us all falling back into the habit. We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters. Therefore: No “epic.” No “pwn.” No “+1.” No “derp.” No “this”/”this just happened.” No “OMG.” No “WTF.” No “lulz.” No “FTW.” No “win.” No “amazeballs.” And so on. Nothing will ever “win the internet” on Gawker. As with all rules there are exceptions. Err on the side of the Times, not XOJane.

"[T]here are exceptions"—and there should be. Her name is Lindy West, and she is the Ornette Coleman of internet slang, and I sincerely hope the new rules give her free rein while rightly muzzling all inferior appropriators of her style.

Also on Gawker editor Max Read's "banned list":

The word “massive.” Is never to appear on the website Gawker dot com. Here’s a handy list of synonyms for your headline toolkit:
> huge, enormous, vast, immense, large, big, mighty, great, colossal, tremendous, prodigious, gigantic, gargantuan, mammoth, monstrous, monumental, giant, towering, elephantine, mountainous, titanic; Herculean, Brobdingnagian; monster, jumbo, mega, whopping, humongous, hulking, honking, bumper, astronomical, ginormous

Massive: the brown M&Ms of New York's new media.


Comments (15) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
MacCrocodile 1

No. Never.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM · Report this
For what it's worth, Lindy is at Jezebel, which has a different editor than Gawker, and her internet slang use has continued apace, delighting and amusing everyone (except for the people who don't like internet slang).
Posted by aurora f on April 3, 2014 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Someone needs to tell the Poynter editor to issue a decree banning the use of "a couple _______" when the writer means "a couple of ________."

Actually, that goes for The Stranger editor, too.

And I really don't get the problem with "massive." It's a word. It has meaning. I had a boss try to make me stop using "utilize" in all instances because a lot of stupid people use "utilize" when they mean "use." But "utilize" is a word and it has a meaning different from "use" and banning it is dumb. Banning it's misuse? Totally cool with that. Same with "massive." That is a lot of quotation marks. Sorry about that.
Posted by lopes on April 3, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
The Beady Eyes of Mayor Ed Murray 4
Personally I think Lindy is a better writer than her overuse of hyperbolic netspeak suggests.

Posted by The Beady Eyes of Mayor Ed Murray on April 3, 2014 at 4:47 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 5
The Ornette Coleman of internet slang? You mean she's making it all up as she goes, and it's mind-blowingly brilliant? I superciliate very slightly in your general direction.
Posted by aureolaborealis on April 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM · Report this
"Brobdingnagian"? WTF? This is a thing that should not exist.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on April 3, 2014 at 5:04 PM · Report this
I love that the word "massive" is then used in the next headline below this story.

…yeah, I know it's the name of the band, but it's still funny to me.
Posted by SPG on April 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM · Report this
rob! 8
They should've changed the name. I feel dirty every time I go there.
Posted by rob! on April 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM · Report this
JonnoN 9
what's wrong with "massive"? Especially used literally, a thing with much mass. Or does that never come up?
Posted by JonnoN on April 3, 2014 at 7:11 PM · Report this
SchmuckyTheCat 10
@6 you should swiftly unremember it then. The rest of us are fine.
Posted by SchmuckyTheCat on April 3, 2014 at 9:05 PM · Report this
Am I the only one that hates the way Lindy West writes?
Posted by garbagehumper on April 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
@11 Yes.
Posted by rcrantz on April 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM · Report this
@11-- I believe you mean, "Am I the only one WHO hates the way Lindy West writes?"

Lindy West would know the difference because she's a good writer.

Also, yes.
Posted by lopes on April 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 14
@11, I'm with you. She writes like a thirteen year old boy with a chip on his shoulder, which is sometimes funny but more frequently obnoxious. She rarely puts any actual thought into her work, relying instead on her ability to convey emotion to persuade her readers.

This mandate from Gawker will reduce her vocabulary significantly. Maybe she will have to start formulating arguments and articulating them like she's all grown up! (I won't hold my breath.)
Posted by kitschnsync on April 4, 2014 at 11:50 AM · Report this
I normally wouldn't have said anything. The Ornette Coleman comparison baffled me enough to express my dislike.
Posted by garbagehumper on April 4, 2014 at 6:38 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy