Best new ‘-pocalypse’ of the year

My vote has to go to New York University’s recent Replyallpocalypse, initiated when sophomore Max Wiseltier accidentally uncovered one of the flaws in NYU’s email system, and hilarity ensued.

My heart goes out to Mr. Wiseltier, because who hasn’t had one of those moments where you do something which seems perfectly innocent only to have it go horribly, terribly wrong (and in a mortifyingly public way)?  And my heart goes out equally to all the individuals on the NYU listserv, because (as you could have predicted) once the vulnerability was uncovered, it was only a matter of time before a bunch of chuckleheads took a minor annoyance and used it to blow up the inboxes of about 40,000 people.  Why?  For the lulz, of course.

I must admit that I like the word itself.  The term “replyallpocalypse” has a lovely sound, aided by it’s smooth rhythm, and is much more melodious than other words forced into connection with what I think must be the 2010s’ favorite suffix.  And too, the word reflects quite clearly the nature of apocalypticism in the current historical moment; it was a disruptive event on a (relatively) massive scale that came about specifically because a bunch of people let their better angels be drowned out by their inner three year old, turning a regrettable occurrence into an utter and complete mess.

Of course, being of a certain age and set of cultural touchstones, my mind went immediately to this.

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