Are you fluent in Internet?

The Internet has a language all its own. That language can include words, numbers and even images. All that can sometimes be a little confusing.

Today’s post is going to try to teach you how to communicate online – sort of!  I’m going to translate some of the most common of these terms for you. If you have anything to add to the list, please add them in the comments below!



Easter Egg: A hidden element written into a program or placed on a Web site. Basically, it is a special feature that is not otherwise made obvious, but when “clicked on,” it offers something special. This could be in the form of an extra game level or a secret area or an animation or a surprise image of some kind. If you’ve seen any of the Marvel movies, Stan Lee’s many cameos would count as an Easter Egg.

Avatar: A digital “actor” or icon that represents who you are and where you are in the virtual world. The avatar can be whatever you want, including a cartoon, an animal, a shape – anything. Just be aware that this image represents you


My Avatar for the P4Digital Blog

Spam: An e-mail message sent to a large number of people without consent. Spam is usually sent to promote a product or service.

Blog: A Web site or social media site where users can post an up-to-date e-journal entry of any topic they desire. Essentially, what this is.

Blogosphere or Blogsphere: The current state of all information available on blogs and/or the sub-culture of those who create and use blogs.

Programmer: A person who designs, codes, tests and documents a computer program or Web site. Professional programmers often hold college degrees in computer science, but a great deal of programming is done by individuals who are self-taught, with little or no formal training.


Troll: In general, to “troll” means to allure, to fish, to entice, or to bait. Internet trolls are people who fish for other people’s confidence and, once found, exploit it.

Flame War: When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debaters, rather than a discussion of their opinions and positions. A heated exchange. If you want to see one, check out almost any comment stream on Youtube.


Noob:  is someone who my understand the online world, but acts like a jerk.

Newbie: someone who is new to the Internet or new to computers in general.”Newbie” is sort of a derogatory term, but hey, it doesn’t have to be 🙂 

Phishing: An online scam in which someone sends out a large number of legitimate looking e-mails that appear to come from respected companies (such as eBay, PayPal,, etc.) with the intent of “fishing” for personal and financial information from the recipient. It is an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will later be used for identity theft.

Hot spot: This term refers to places that have wireless Internet connections. Many retailers, especially coffee shops, are adding wireless hot spots to provide the tech-savvy another reason to stop in and spend some money and some time.


Defrag: short for: defragmentation It means to optimize your hard drive, usually with a program that “cleans it up” and makes it run as smoothly as possible.

Plugged-in: Slang for  being connected to the Internet

Thread: chain of postings on a single subject in a newsgroup

Hashtag: (on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. (Ours is #DigitalVelocity)


Interface: In a general sense, it is the portion of a program that interacts between a user and an application, meaning it is what you see on the computer screen. It usually refers to “user interface.” 

ISP: is Internet Service Provider.  That is the private company or government organization that plugs you into the vast Internet around the world. It is also at the centre of the Net Neutrality debate right now.

Meme: An Internet meme is an idea, style or action which spreads from person to person via the Internet. Grumpy cat is one of the most famous. 

grumpy cat

Cache: In browsers, “cache” is used to identify a space where web pages you have visited are stored in your computer. When you use GO, BACK, or any other means to revisit a document, the browser first checks to see if it is in cache and will retrieve it from there because it is much faster than retrieving it from the server.

CACHED LINK: In search results from Google,  there is usually a Cached link which allows you to view the version of a page that the search engine has stored in its database. The live page on the web might differ from this cached copy, because the cached copy dates from whenever the search engine’s spider last visited the page and detected modified content

Spiders: Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as “crawlers” or “knowledge-bots” or “knowbots” that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet, visit sites and databases, and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages, update known pages, and delete obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the “home” database.


WIKI: A term meaning “quick” in Hawaiian, that is used for technology that gathers in one place a number of web pages focused on a theme, project, or collaboration. Wikis are generally used when users or group members are invited to develop, contribute, and update the content of the wiki.

Catfish: is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

Bit: The smallest unit of information in a computer, can either equal 0 or 1. Eight bits equal one byte.

BMP: (BitMaP) A standard type of graphics file. An uncompressed format, so the files tend to be fairly big.

Cookie: A small data file stored on your computer by a website, in theory to allow it to “remember” your preferences, but in practise mostly used to track which advertisements you have seen.

Gif: (Pronounced Jif apparently – there is a debate). Graphics Interchange Format. GIFs are image files that are compressed to reduce transfer time. These are usually animated.


These are just a few – if you have any more that you think are important, please comment below!


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