Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wilfing: Sooner or later, we all do some of it

I just learned a new word today: wilfing. Apparently, it stands for "what was I looking for?" but shortened to accommodate the Internet generation. Anyhow, I learned of this little word, which signifies, in essence, the idle web surfing you do when you went to the web to get something, only some other shiny website distracts you, and before you know it. . . what was I looking for in the first place? Our students here do it quite a bit, if what I see on the lab with all those browsers pointed to MySpace, Hi5, and so on are any indication.

Anyhow, don't just take my word for it. Tom Regan, in his article "Whistle While You 'Wilf' Online," over at The Christian Science Monitor has all the details. My favorite line was how this concept can soon become a pop culture trend (these days, anything can become a trend no matter how dumb):

Here's how I see the pop-cult arc of wilfing: First, wilfing appears as a keyword on the blog search website, Then someone will write "Wilfing for Dummies." A few weeks later, watch for the Time magazine cover story "Wilfing: A danger to your sex life?" along with a special report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Oprah will then have a show featuring those who are in "wilf recovery" programs. Larry King will interview two congressmen in a tight election race who will debate the question "Is wilfing destroying the fabric of American society?"

Finally, a blockbuster thriller appears starring Sandra Bullock as a naive FBI agent who accidentally discovers a secret government organization whose goal is to destroy the country by having everyone wilf at the same time.

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