When writing my blog posts I have been writing on the assumption that the average reader is going to know what I am talking about when I use the terminology common to the online community. My rationale is that unless you personally know me you are not going to read my blog if the topic is not of interest or importance to you and if this is the case the probability that you are familiar with that terminology is high. While I still believe this is the case I have had several of my friends and family members joke with me about how they have no idea what I am talking about half the time. My sister has especially found some of what I have written illuminating since I never felt the need to detail the extent of my nerdiness to her with the full understanding that she would tease me relentlessly if I did. It was actually a conversation with her that inspired me to write this particular post when she jokingly said that I needed to make a key for people like her who sometimes feel as though they are reading a foreign language. Rather than go back and create a key I decided to write a post defining some of the terms I have been asked about as well as some I haven’t used yet, but are fairly common and may pop up in the future. So without further ado, let’s begin!
Fandom: This is simply used to describe a community of people who are fans of something and the interactions they have with one another. It is very possible to be a fan of something without actually being a part of that particular fandom.
Potterhead/Twihard: These are terms that have been created to describe the very obsessive fans of the Harry Potter and Twilight series. I trust I do not need to explain which term goes with which fandom!
Fangirl/boy: Someone who is a fangirl or boy is someone who is obsessed with something or – more frequently – someone and is very vocal, often to the point of obnoxiousness, about that obsession. There is a fine distinction between just being a huge fan and being an actual fangirl or boy. That distinction may be small and difficult to quantify, but it does exist.
Shipping: This comes from the word “relationshipping” which refers to the support of a particular romantic pairing. A shipper is someone who ships. A common occurance in shipping is the creation of a word used to identify the couple you ship by combining their names. Glee actually had a very funny scene in Season 2′s episode “Rumors” in which they listed off several of these shipping names. Some common ones from Glee include: Finchel = Finn & Rachel, Puckleberry = Puck & Rachel Berry, Britana = Brittany & Santana, Pizes = Puck & Lauren Zizes, Klaine = Kurt & Blaine. Perhaps the most famous shipping names come from Harry Potter (and they elicited a huge laugh from my sister when she read them in one of my previous posts). I am referring to Heron, Hermione & Ron; and Harmony, Harry & Hermione. Shippers of these two pairings were particularly fanatic with an all out war ensuing after an interview with JK Rowling conducted by Emerson Spartz and Melissa Anelli (the founders of MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron respectively). In this interview Emerson called Harmony shippers “delusional” and they did not react very kindly to the word.
Fanfiction: This refers to a piece of fiction written by a fan about the world and/or characters they are a fan of. It is often shortened to just fanfic.
Troll: This is a person who goes onto message boards or the comments section of an online post and writes disparaging or hateful things about the topic being discussed and/or people discussing it just for the fun of it.
Squee: No, this is not a typo that was meant to say squeal. “Squee” is a word often used by fans to express their delight, excitement, giddiness, etc. about something that they have just read.
Jo: This is an affectionate nickname Harry Potter fans use for JK (Joanne) Rowling.
Hopefully this has helped those of you who were confused make sense of some of the things I have written. I have a feeling I am going to receive a phone call from my sister as she is hysterically laughing after reading this! Whether or not you were familiar with these terms before reading this or not I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. No matter how silly it all may seem to someone on the outside it is all a part of what makes this world so much fun to be a part of.