12 Normal Words That Were Ruined by the Internet

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The internet has brought great changes and innovations since the late 90s. It has become an essential tool for information, communication, and interaction. But it has also affected our speech. Here are 12 normal words that were ruined by the internet. 


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For Gen X, Karen was simply a real name, but now, thanks to the internet, Karen is a meme and an ‘emotional female.’ One commentator, whose name is Karen, says, “I cringe when I actually have to make a complaint about saying whatsoever. Sometimes I get smirks for just saying it’s my name.”


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The past of wake is woke, and that’s how Gen X knew it. Today, woke means open-mindedness or consciousness of current social issues, injustices, or oppression.


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Another ‘perfectly normal descriptive word’ ruined by the internet is moist. With too many weirdos on the internet, you have to check the word’s context, as it now carries a double meaning. 


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Remember we said you’re entitled to your own opinion and get on with your happy lives?” asks one commentator. Well, that’s no longer the case. “Somewhere along the line, critics started being called haters. As if we’re bad people if we don’t love everything,” explains another user. 


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When the internet uses the word ‘basic,’ it no longer means something fundamental. Instead, it now means “airhead submerged in pop culture, usually female.” Or, as another commentator puts it, “A person who likes the most stereotypically popular things to the level of barely having a personality of their own.”


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Interestingly, even the word research has been affected by the internet craze. 


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A user with PTSD writes, “Being triggered is one of the worst things, and people had to make a joke out of it.”


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A 24-year-old Reddit user who calls her dad ‘daddy’ explains how her guy friends find the name weird, “It makes me uncomfortable when people correlate me calling him (daddy) to something sexual.”


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Formerly a useful description of a specific character, now synonymous with an ex,” reads one post. And another user backs this, “It was my ex’s favorite word to describe me once I stopped putting up with her BS.”


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Before the internet era, “influencer used to be a word meant for the powerful, who could change the course of history and change things around with his words,” reads a post. Today, however, an influencer is a person who sways people into buying products or changing people’s beliefs and opinions. 


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A therapist points out that words are losing meaning because people overuse or apply them in inappropriate contexts. She adds, “Just because someone lied does not mean you are being gaslit.” And gaslighting was not a thing until the movie ‘Gaslight’ came to light. 


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It is interesting how word meanings change over time. Now, snowflake means tiny pieces of snow and overly emotional people.  

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