The Haven Concise Dictionary of Second Life Jargonisms

It’s been quite some time since i put together one of my indispensable and wholly accurate guides to sl living, which – i have it on good authority – both absolute noob and established resident alike find astoundingly useful for navigating the pixelverse and making sense of the more arcane aspects of second living.

So, in the interests of public service and the furtherance of knowledge in all things virtual, i offer you my definitive guide to understanding sl jargon. Ignore it at your peril!

Everybody’s favourite, but do you really know what it is? ‘Lag’ is a contraction of the two words ‘latent aggression’ – something that even the mildest-mannered of sl residents discover lurking within when they find themselves incapable of accomplishing straightforward tasks, such as walking from one location to another, or conducting a simple conversation. At its most extreme, lag can result in hospitalisation, generally as a result of injuries caused whilst attempting to hurl heavy computer equipment bodily across the room.

An oft misunderstood technical expression that has less to do with the creation of tasty baked morsels than with the end product of the cake-making process. Bake-fail is the rather curious phenomenon whereby delicious pastries, such as cupcakes, appear to permanently adhere to a resident’s mouth, where they remain, no matter what. Such ‘decorations’ are often explained away as ‘fashion accessories’ when in reality they stem from the failure of their creator to include a suitable eating animation to their product. Whilst bake-fail applies primarily to pastry attachments, similarities exist with ‘hair strand moustaches’ and ‘dangly lip necklaces’.

Sim crossing
In reality, completely the opposite to what it appears to describe. Any border between two Sims that is clearly marked and signposted as a ‘Sim crossing’ will, by definition, be the one point where it is absolutely impossible to pass over the border. This can result in residents taking ever-more innovative approaches to crossing over, which invariably end in spectacular failure and the sudden loss of all attached vehicles, prims and dignity.

tg welcome_001Welcome area
Another complete misnomer which means pretty much the polar opposite of what you expect. The closest one can get to replicating the serenity and non-judgemental welcome of an sl welcome area in the real world is to walk into the midst of a Hell’s Angels rally shouting “only sissies ride Harleys!” Welcome areas are traditionally the first places any noob will find themselves; the underlying logic being that the experience of being verbally, emotionally and pixelly abused by a bunch of strangers who would rather they left sl for good, pretty much immediately after signing-up, is excellent preparation for the far worse treatment they will experience at the hands of Linden Lab – if they last that long.

The origins of this particular word are a corruption of the word ‘tear’, popularly thought to derive from ‘the eye-watering cost of owning land’ – watering eyes are synonymous with crying and tears, both of which can often be observed as landowners are forced to raid their piggy banks every month to maintain the paltry parcel of mainland that their celebrated status as ‘Premium’ entitles them to.

Real life (RL)
Many residents are firmly of the opinion that real life is a cleverly constructed myth – the ‘safe hub’ to which we are sent when ‘unscheduled maintenance’, (otherwise known as ‘sl has crashed and we haven’t a clue why), takes place. In reality, the only difference between sl and rl is that when rl crashes, you don’t come back as a particle cloud.

A hugely expensive and ground-breaking feature, which also manages to break almost anything else nearby when it’s enabled. Pathfinding allows even normally inanimate objects to follow you around, harass and harangue you in addition to the normal entourage of store greeters, Bloodlines vampires, copybots and day-old alts begging for money, that tend to attach themselves to you the moment you log in. 

Mesh clothing
Innovative clothing that requires you be one of only four possible shapes, three of which are physically implausible. Mesh comes in particularly handy at kids parties for amusingly making bits of your body disappear when you get changed into non-mesh outfits and forget that you’re till wearing the alpha mask. Great fun!

So, there you have it – the only guide to sl jargon that you’ll ever need!

s. x

“Are you all sitty comftybold two-square on your botty? Then I’ll begin.”
Stanley Unwin
Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake

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One Response to The Haven Concise Dictionary of Second Life Jargonisms

  1. Reblogged this on Cyberculture / Cyberkulture and commented:
    Thank you Seren most hrumpf informative

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