Do you plank?

Have you ever taken part in a flash mob, or been rickrolled?

Even if you haven’t, you may have wondered how the names for these and other Internet-related crazes got started.

Well, UWA linguist Daniel Midgley is going to tell you anyway on this week’s Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Some info on ‘planking’
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/layabouts-plank-their-way-across-town-in-latest-net-craze-20110512-1ejun.html

Wikipedia’s “planking” page, which claims an Australian origin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planking_(fad)

Beware: planking can be dangerous.
http://www.kidsolo.com/planking-the-new-internet-craze/3640/
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/nsw-man-in-coma-in-a-newcastle-hospital-after-planking-accident/story-e6frg6nf-1226058658459

or at least risky
http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/lawyer-backs-employers-crackdown-on-planking-staff/story-e6frg2t3-1226061214494

Epic plank in Perth:
http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/naked-planker-simon-carville-just-wants-to-have-fun/story-e6frfq80-1226061333539

Even strippers plank:
http://plankinglol.com/2011/05/strippers-planking-it-was-bound-to-happen-planking-win/

Also goes by the “lying down game”
http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/lying-down-game

French: A Plat Ventre
http://www.aplatventre.com/

Origin of ‘plank’
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=plank

RICKROLLING
A handy infographic on ‘rickrolling’
http://man-over-board.com/2010/06/05/the-complete-history-of-rickrolling-like-you-really-care/

FLASH MOB
Track the usage of ‘flash mob’ in books for the last 200 years!
http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=flash+mob&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3
And check how it goes off the chart at 2003.

The new usage: Surrealist performance art
http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/17-06/pl_print

And the New York Times uses it in a brand new way: a spontaneous crowd.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/arts/television/bin-ladens-death-how-it-played.html

Great flash mobs

Hammer Pants Dance – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdg-b08uWRc
Frozen Grand Central – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwMj3PJDxuo
Perth Pillow Fight Club 2005 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-R1zggOhY4
One of Jamie’s Mum – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0