By Mary Hiers
You're living under a rock if you've never heard -- or perhaps uttered -- the phrase "WTF?!"
This acronym has been around longer than you may think: going on 30 years. With a legacy tracing back to approximately 1985, it has a polite definition in "What the freak?" But the more well-known definition substitutes "freak" for another four-letter word you might not say in front of your, ahem, prim-and-proper grandmother.
Over the years, the "W" in "WTF" has gone from standing for "what" to being a placeholder for "who," "where," "whatever," "when" and "why" -- depending on the context in which it is used. The overarching point of WTF is to highlight absurdity, inexplicability, humor or frustration. Often, all of those things are summed up in this three-letter acronym.
Given WTF displays remarkable flexibility -- and popularity -- it has joined the growing list of "not-com" domain extensions being made available. Yes, my friends, you can now 'dot-wtf' (.wtf) your website address.
'Dot-wtf' adds color, irreverence and memorability that 'dot-com' (.com) can't quite convey. (And it does it in three letters, too!) Click here for a Pinterest page of 'dot-wtf' websites; below are some of our favorites.
The Dork Nation is a global community of people who love anything and everything related to "geek culture." The site contains considerable discussion on TV shows, films, games and technology. The site promises to "try to bring a sense of geekiness to every little post we write. Nothing fake here, nothing but pure honesty."
Am Studio is a small company that provides photography, graphic design and videography for a diverse range of projects. From engagement photos to television commercials to music videos, Am Studio emphasizes outstanding cinematography and specialty photography. For example, the company has an extensive portfolio of iPhone photography, highlighting what can be done with that particular type of camera. They also offer digital manipulations and special effects, as well as "light sculpture" photographs that employ long exposures and moving light sources. Clients include big names like Citibank and Samsung.
This site isn't officially associated with the Serial, the podcast series that gained a massive following in 2014. Rather, it was launched by fans who wanted to create the "World's #1 Unofficial Serial Podcast Online Superstore." The site sells gear including t-shirts, tote bags and mugs, and includes a page of links relevant to the Serial podcast. Since Serial was confirmed for two more seasons, starting in fall of 2015, expect this site to carry on with its Serial fandom for a while.
Big Horn Sounds is a non-profit association with a goal of working with local musicians and artists in the Calgary area. The organization sponsors a local music festival that offers cash and other prizes for top musicians; does fundraising; and teams up with local sponsors in support of local artists and events. In keeping with the flexibility of the WTF acronym, the site's pages turn it musical by asking, "What the funk?"
Cats and the Internet seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. So it's no shocker that we've uncovered at least one cat-related WTF site: Kitty.wtf. You can scroll through the many user-generated cat posters on the site, or create your own. You can bet that as long as there are cats doing things that make people say, "WTF?" there will be sites like this one that cater to feline-inspired fun.
Has 'dot-wtf' inspired curiosity about new opportunities for your website address? Check out all the "not-com" options available to help make your domain more memorable and meaningful.