The Internet is, on top of everything else, a word generator of unparalleled proportions. As a platform for expression, the thing has provided us with an explosion of new terms—and, with them, new conundrums. There are the old classics ("Web" or "web"? "Wi-Fi" or "wifi"? "email" or "e-mail"?), but there are also the newer quandaries ("unfriend" or "un-friend"? "tweet" or "Tweet"? "LOL" or "lol" or "lolllllllllllllll"?).
On the one hand, these need not be pressing problems; one of the joys of Internet writing is its freeing of the writer to find his or her unique style. So go ahead, fellow Internet user—make up some words! Abbreviate some existing ones! Portmanteau things up, winventively and tweeatively!
On the other hand, sometimes even the
uniquest most unique quirkiest Internet writer wants some standardization. Sometimes you want some rules that aren't entirely diy DIY. Sometimes, personal style just wants some collective guidance.
Should you seek that help, it is now here. Buzzfeed has published its Style Guide, a lengthy treatment of the phrases and names and acronyms that the site's writers use with regularity. And while it's an in-house manual made public (slash a smart publicity play, slash a de-facto declaration that Buzzfeed places itself in the company of the AP and The New York Times, slash "slash" instead of "/" is not, for the record, officially sanctioned by Buzzfeed's Style Guide) ... the document is also chock-full of answers about common Internet-term quandaries. And, Buzzfeed being Buzzfeed, it can also nicely double as an answer to some of the web's most pressing Style Conundrums.