Generation Wack

If there's one thing the Internet's good for, it's propagating endless amounts of useless gossip and slang about how wack and off the heezie it is for the paparazzi to be all up in Lindsay Lohan's grill. To understand what all these gadflies were talking about -- and how -- CNN hired Umbria to study millions of blogs over a six-month period in 2004 and 2005. The results were revealing, fo shizzle:

· Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 2004, were making most of the ruckus; they were responsible for 79 percent of all slang terms tracked -- including "bust yo grill" and "aight" -- plus 52 percent of all celebrity mentions.

· The most widely used slang term across the board was "all good," followed by "peeps" and "chillin." Of celebrities mentioned, Britney Spears took the top spot, followed by Bill Clinton and Johnny Depp.


The blogosphere

· Once Gen Y popularized -- and grew tired of -- terms like "true dat" and "dawg," they spread like wildfire among male baby boomers (men born between 1944 and 1963), often before catching on with Gen X men (born between 1964 and 1978). Midlife crisis, anyone?

· Not surprisingly, increases in a celebrity's blog mentions corresponded with well-publicized deeds -- or, more accurately, misdeeds -- of that celebrity. Paris Hilton chatter was on the rise after news spread that her cell phone had been ingloriously hacked, and Brad Pitt gossip spiked in January 2005, just when his divorce from Jennifer Aniston was announced.

· Women were more likely to use slang than men, and were responsible for 56 percent of all vernacular used. They especially favored "chillin," "holla" and "all up in my grill," while their masculine counterparts preferred "my bad," "bling" and "mami."

· While male bloggers were slacking on slang, they kept yakking about celebrities -- and by a nearly two-to-one margin were more likely to blog about 33 pre-selected personalities than were females. Bill Clinton was their number-one subject of choice, though Paris Hilton and Johnny Depp weren't far behind, and by the end of the tracking period, Britney Spears was edging out the former president.


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