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

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 2 00:39:29 UTC 2020

I'm confused. I thought "stan" had evolved to mean obsessed, and have no
issue with someone being obsessed with a fictional character.

On Wed, Jan 1, 2020, 7:15 PM Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com>

> "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.
> https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/12/9039275/yennefer-netflix-the-witcher-reactions
> "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.
> https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/12/9046002/whats-new-netflix-december-20-witcher-soundtrack-two-popes#slide-3
> 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
> https://www.linkedin.com/in/SMcCandlish
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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