Friday, June 15, 2012

Fanny Friday: Terms of Endearment

There are many terms used in fandoms that let people know immediately what they are looking at. In fact, fandom is a word that arose from people’s interest in certain television shows, movies, books, etc. It’s funny to watch how these words have morphed themselves into our language, much as techno terms have done over the years. 

From being a “fan” of Stargate Atlantis, for example, I've joined its “fandom” and become a “fangirl”; when I “squee” over Major Lorne, I’m “fangirling”. I write “fanfic” about him, with ratings from “E” (everyone) to “MA” (mature adult). I’ve written him “het”, “slash”, “non-con”, “dub-con”, with story length varying between a “drabble” (100 words exactly) to novel length. So, let’s look at some terms and their meanings, shall we? Odds are good, if you’re reading my blog, that you are familiar with fandoms and don’t need this, possibly probably that you know more than I do and can correct me if I’m wrong (please do!), but this is what I wanted to write today, so meh.

Fan: Someone who enjoys a television show, movie, book, musical group or other form of entertainment; one who likes the work of the entertainer or likes the character. The last part may raise some eyebrows, but I believe it to be true. I am a fan of Stargate Atlantis and also of Kavan Smith, who plays Major Lorne; I am a fan of Lorne, but not of the smalltime crook Kavan Smith played in Smallville.

Fandom: All of the stuff surrounding a show, movie, book, etc. Cons, forums for discussions, sites for fiction, videos, songs, etc, are all part of the fandom. I’m getting tired of typing “show, movie, book, etc” so from here on out, since my fandom is a show, I’ll be typing just “show”.

Fangirl (or boy, but I’m a girl, so I use the feminine form): A girl who is involved in the fandom in any way, from just lurking about the threads to running a fan site.

Fan site: the website (official or not) of a show, actor, etc.

Fan fic: sometimes written fanfic. A story based on a show or character or actor.

Squee: what I did when I got my autographed pic of Kavan Smith from my friend who attended the con he was at. To be all excited and make those high-pitched sounds of excitement that make men stick their fingers in their ears and grimace in pain. Can be done virtually on forums, too.

Het: a story (can be in video form) in which the character is shown in a heterosexual relationship.

Slash: a story in which the character is shown in a homosexual relationship. Sometimes, for the female characters, this is called “fem slash”.

Non-con: “con” in this sense means consensual. Therefore, non-con is a warning that there is rape (non-consensual sex) in this story.

Dub-con: A warning that there is sex of a dubiously consensual nature in this story (the character may start out completely consensual and decide that they don’t want to anymore or they may be tied up and “forced” by someone that they really want to have sex with but didn’t want people to know, etc)

Con: in the sense above, this means consent. Also used for the gathering of the actors of various shows (usually related, though, so all science fiction, for example). People attend the Cons to meet the actors, to hear them speak and get autographed photos with them. My friend got the autographed pic for me at ChiCon (the Con in Chicago) when she was getting her own picture taken with Kavan.

Lurk: to hang around the forums, reading the posts, but not really participating.

I’ll be using these terms a lot on this blog, hence the entry. If you have anything to add, feel free to leave it in the comments. There are a LOT more terms, but I figured I’d bored you all enough. 


Meredith L. said...

I also love the collective names for specific fans, like Gleeks or Browncoats or that mother load of all fandom collectives, Trekkies.

Lynne Kensington said...

You know, I never even thought about that. I wonder if Stargate Fans have a special name. Now you've piqued my curiosity! :D

Mackenzies Momma said...

I think Stargate fans are 'Gaters (That's the one I've heard the most)