Frape, stalking and whores: Semantics and social narrative on Facebook

Caroline Graham, Krista Mathis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Extract: Language is in a constant state of growth and flux; more words appear in our lexicon every year, and many of the newest additions to the English language are technology-driven and describe behaviours, values and social infrastructure online.This study focuses on emerging terms related to Facebook, such as Facebook stalking (surveillance of someone’s Facebook profile), Fraping (a portmanteau of Facebook and rape; to manipulate someone else’s profile) and Facebook whore(someone who posts excessive status updates). Language is not merely a storytelling tool. Words can also tell stories about the people who use them and the communities in which they are conceived. They can provide insight into power structures and value systems, as well as illustrate the attitudes of users. Given the viral nature of social networking technology, there is evidence to suggest new terms gain currency more quickly in a digital space: an offhand comment can become part of daily vernacular and even included in the dictionary in a matter of years. The prominence of such terms warrants investigation, but challenges lie in keeping pace with the rapid evolution of this discourse. Using elements of Critical Discourse Analysis, this exploratory study identifies terms coined to describe Facebook behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrossing channels, crossing realms
Subtitle of host publicationImmersive worlds and transmedia narratives
EditorsN Krikowa, S Edrei
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherInter-Disciplinary Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781848882201
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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