First, let me say that there are several invaluable resources for leaning how to communicate effectively with those crazy internet peeps and for figuring out what the hell they’re talking about:
1) Television Tropes and Idioms – an encyclopedic, brilliant, often insulting, and often hilarious website that attempts to record and understand the devices and conventions of fiction and how audiences respond to them (Beware of this site: hazards include bladder infections and sleeplessness. You’ll click one link, and then before you know it you’ve got 25 tabs open and it’s dawn.)
2) The Fanlore Wiki – all about what fans do and what fans say
3) Urban Dictionary – language is alive, and now there’s a way to keep up with it
Of course my personal favorite is Google + “what does [blank] mean?”
******to ship (verb) – etymologically related to the word “relationship”, it essentially means to root for two people to get sexually or romantically involved with each other. Can vary from hoping for a sexual encounter to wanting them to fall in love and end up happily ever.
*shipping (noun) – the desiring of a fictional romance to come about, or the desiring of that romance to continue.
* ship (noun) – a romantic coupling/ pairing that one roots for.
*shipper (noun) – someone who engages in the act of rooting for fictional romances, someone who is invested in a certain pairing, and in rooting for that pairing.
******canon (noun/adjective) – what truly is, as opposed to what is speculation or desired. “What counts”, “what actually happened”. The (as much as is possible) indisputable facts of the source material.
-What should and shouldn’t be accepted as canon is often up for debate, or personal discretion, as I like to see it
-I’ll most often be using it in phrases such as “it’s canon”, which means that I can make a statement about what a character did or felt and prove that it happened , or in references to the “canon couple”, which is to say a pairing that actually is in a romantic relationship or obviously/definitely headed that way based on evidence, and not just what I would like to happen.
******OTP/One True Pairing (noun) – the pairing that one prefers above all other possible pairings for the characters in question. An endgame ship. May also simply refer to the intensity with which one ships it.
-Can be used as an adjective – “so OTP”, meaning exhibiting characteristics of a romantic relationship that is meant to be or going to last.
-variations include “brotp” (brother+otp) – a platonic/friendship relationship that inspires the same feelings and investment as an OTP; and OT3, OT4, etc. – OTPs that include more than two people (the understood sexual implications/behaviors of OT3’s, etc., are, in my opinion, not universal).
******shipping goggles (noun) – the rosy lens through which a supporter of a particular pairing is able to view their pairing and interpret what happens – the smallest of interactions, the most ambiguous of dialogue- as evidence of the fact that the two characters in question already are together, or ought to be together.
-These is what I wear all of the time. They allow me to put aside reason and common sense, and see what I want to see. I hope you’ll put on your shipping goggles with me, because that’s more fun. I’m not actually self-deluded, but if you don’t realize that I’m wearing my shipping goggles, you might think that I am, so it’s very important that you understand this term. Important to me, anyway.
-You’ll more often use me hear the term shipper spin – to take what was said or done and twist it and interpret it in such a way that it supports the pairing that one favors.
******narrative kink (noun) – a very specific element, trope, motif, image, characteristic, or trait in fiction that appeals very strongly to a viewer or reader. Something they’re interested in, drawn to, thrilled/excited by.