[Ads-l] "stanning" misapplied to fictional characters

Stanton McCandlish smccandlish at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 2 00:15:16 UTC 2020

"To stan" or "to be a stan" is to act as a stalker-fan; it's unclear to me
whether the term inspired the Eminem song "Stan" (2000), about a *Misery*-style
obsessed and dangerously unhinged fan, or whether the song came first and
people picked up the term from it. (The notoriously unreliable *Urban
Dictionary* has an earliest definitional entry from 2007, but wasn't as
popular back then, and didn't even mention the 2000 song until 2006, so
it's hardly conclusive of anything.)

At any rate, it's not possible to stalk a fictional character, yet the term
is at least occasionally being misapplied in that context.  Two examples I
encountered within 5 minutes of each other:

"The Internet Is Fully Stanning Yennefer from Netflix’s *The Witcher*".  Ineye
Komonibo, *Refinery29*, 20 December 2019.

"See or skip?: *The Young Pope* stans, watch to satiate your dramatic pope
thirst until *The New Pope* premieres in 2020."  From "You Have 7 New
Netflix Treats to Binge This Weekend – Here’s What’s Worth Watching – *The
Two Popes*", review, pane 3 of 7 in slideshow format. Ariana Romero,
*Refinery29*, 20 December 2019.

I'd already been seeing the term questionably applied, off-and-on, as
simply another way to say "fan", without any implication of mental illness
or of line-crossing behavior. But this application to imaginary heroes is a
new one to me.  Maybe it's a fluke; while it's two different writers,
they're both writing for the same reviews site, and both reviews came out
the same day, so maybe one of the writers misused the term at the water
cooler and the other picked it up and ran with it.  It might have even
happened later in the day with a rewrite, since the title of the review of *The
Witcher* is different in both the HTML <title> ("The Internet Loves
Yennefer from *The Witcher*"), and in the URL ("Yennefer Netflix *The
Witcher* Reactions", probably the original title, given how URLs like this
are typically generated on-the-fly at first save by blogging platforms and
other content management systems).

Stanton McCandlish
McCandlish Consulting
5400 Foothill Blvd Suite B
Oakland CA 94601-5516

+1 415 234 3992


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