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The History of the term, "Fail"

Every day in our lives, we encounter numerous ways to fail. Some being more humorous than others. Many people ask me, "What is the history of the word "Fail?"' and I always ask them, "How the crap did you get in my house?" So, I got to wondering...here's

Colten Smith

on 14 May 2010

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Transcript of The History of the term, "Fail"

The History Of The Fail Throughout your life, it's inevitable one way or another. Either, you're going to fail, or you will witness a fail yourself. Many questions are asked regarding the term, "Fail," "Failing," or the classic "Haha, you fail." The history of the fail, however is more convoluted than one would think. The first noting that the word "fail" could be used as an interjection
was in July 2003, when newspaper writer and photographer, Ben Zimmer,
had stumbled upon a rather absent-minded yet humorous photo, being
shown below... This example uses the word "FAIL" in all caps, being noted as a stand-alone phrase rather than a simple verb. A legitimate example of how you would say it is, "You actually bought that? FAIL." or "Dude, you FAIL." Using fail as a verb usually meant falling short of expectations. This term made occassional appearances as a noun used in phrases as "Without fail." All of this started to change about six years ago when a contributor to Urbandictionary.com had brough up the term "Fail," changing the verb usage to an expression better known to the internet blogger world. In the matter of a few more years, the word "fail" used as an interjection was growing ever more popular when people started providing attachments as adjectives that described a type of fail. Some of these contexts included more evolved phrases like "Major Fail", "Uberfail", "Massive Fail", and of course, the most popular and recognized "Epic Fail." These adjectives used as attachments decribed the further intesifying of the fail. Then, the next step would occur... By January 2008, one of the most dignified websites known for the "fail-spreading" was a well-known webpage called www.failblog.com. Adopting the previous website, lolcats.com, as a "role model" so to speak and carried on their technique, adding captions to their photos. Some of their most popular and humorous photos include the following... These are only a few samples of some of failblog's most popular pictures on the site as of today. But that's not all. Some of their other links, including "The Daily Fail, The Fail Salon, and the Shipment of Fail" are also very popular. The only difference in the lolcats.com website was the fact that instead of derisive captions, they used wording with intentive yet condescending poor grammar and spelling that resembles the said cat in the photo saying and/or thinking the caption.
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